Microarray analysis of butyrate regulated genes in colonic epithelial cells

DNA Cell Biol. 2006 Jan;25(1):49-62. doi: 10.1089/dna.2006.25.49.


Butyrate is a naturally occurring product of colonic microbial fermentation of dietary carbohydrates that escape hydrolysis in the small intestine. Butyrate plays a significant role in the maintenance of colonic tissue homeostasis by regulating the expression of genes associated with the processes of proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Using microarray analysis, we assessed changes in the expression of 19,400 genes in response to butyrate in a human colonic epithelial cell line. Among these, we have identified 221 potentially butyrate- responsive genes specifically associated with the processes of proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Of these genes, 59 are upregulated and 162 downregulated, in accordance with the known modes of action of butyrate. The changes in the expression levels (up- or downregulation) of many of these genes were found to be opposite to that reported in colon cancer tissue, where the intracellular concentration of butyrate would be reduced due to the decline in expression of the colonic butyrate transporter, MCT1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Butyrates / metabolism*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Colon / cytology
  • Colon / metabolism*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / cytology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis


  • Butyrates