Coordinate transcriptional regulation of transport and metabolism

Methods Enzymol. 2005;400:511-30. doi: 10.1016/S0076-6879(05)00028-5.


Intestinal absorption and hepatic clearance of drugs, xenobiotics, and bile acids are mediated by transporter proteins expressed at the plasma membranes of intestinal epithelial cells and liver parenchymal cells in a polarized manner. Within enterocytes and hepatocytes, these exogenous or endogenous, potentially toxic compounds may be metabolized by phase I cytochrome P450 (CYP) and phase II conjugating enzymes. Many transporter proteins and metabolizing enzymes are subject to direct translational modification, enabling very rapid changes in their activity. However, to achieve intermediate and longer term changes in transport and enzyme activities, the genes encoding drug and bile acid transporters, as well as the CYP and conjugating enzymes, are regulated by a complex network of transcriptional cascades. These are typically mediated by specific members of the nuclear receptor family of transcription factors, particularly FXR, SHP, PXR, CAR, and HNF-4alpha. Most nuclear receptors are activated by specific ligands, including numerous xenobiotics (PXR, CAR) and bile acids (FXR). The fine-tuning of transcriptional control of drug and bile acid homeostasis depends on regulated interactions of specific nuclear receptors with their target genes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism
  • Bile Acids and Salts / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Inactivation, Metabolic
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / drug effects
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / genetics*
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / metabolism*
  • Transcriptional Activation*
  • Xenobiotics / pharmacology


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Xenobiotics