FXR: a metabolic regulator and cell protector

Cell Res. 2008 Nov;18(11):1087-95. doi: 10.1038/cr.2008.289.


Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily of ligand-activated transcription factors. As a metabolic regulator, FXR plays key roles in bile acid, cholesterol, lipid, and glucose metabolism. Therefore, FXR is a potential drug target for a number of metabolic disorders, especially those related to the metabolic syndrome. More recently, our group and others have extended the functions of FXR to more than metabolic regulation, which include anti-bacterial growth in intestine, liver regeneration, and hepatocarcinogenesis. These new findings suggest that FXR has much broader roles than previously thought, and also highlight FXR as a drug target for multiple diseases. This review summarizes the basic information of FXR but focuses on its new functions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bile Acids and Salts / genetics
  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism
  • Cholesterol / genetics
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Liver / cytology*
  • Liver / physiology
  • Liver Diseases / genetics
  • Liver Diseases / metabolism
  • Liver Regeneration / genetics
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / genetics*
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Transcription Factors
  • farnesoid X-activated receptor
  • Cholesterol
  • Glucose