The bile salt export pump (BSEP) is the major transporter for the secretion of bile acids from hepatocytes into bile in humans. Mutations of BSEP are associated with cholestatic liver diseases of varying severity including progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis type 2 (PFIC-2), benign recurrent intrahepatic cholestasis type 2 (BRIC-2) and genetic polymorphisms are linked to intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) and drug-induced liver injury (DILI). Detailed analysis of these diseases has considerably increased our knowledge about physiology and pathophysiology of bile secretion in humans. This review focuses on expression, localization, and function, short- and long-term regulation of BSEP as well as diseases association and treatment options for BSEP-associated diseases.
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