Bile acid transporters and regulatory nuclear receptors in the liver and beyond

J Hepatol. 2013 Jan;58(1):155-68. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2012.08.002. Epub 2012 Aug 8.


Bile acid (BA) transporters are critical for maintenance of the enterohepatic BA circulation where BAs exert their multiple physiological functions including stimulation of bile flow, intestinal absorption of lipophilic nutrients, solubilization and excretion of cholesterol, as well as antimicrobial and metabolic effects. Tight regulation of BA transporters via nuclear receptors is necessary to maintain proper BA homeostasis. Hereditary and acquired defects of BA transporters are involved in the pathogenesis of several hepatobiliary disorders including cholestasis, gallstones, fatty liver disease and liver cancer, but also play a role in intestinal and metabolic disorders beyond the liver. Thus, pharmacological modification of BA transporters and their regulatory nuclear receptors opens novel treatment strategies for a wide range of disorders.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cholestasis / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver Diseases / metabolism*
  • Liver Regeneration / physiology*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / metabolism*


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • bile acid binding proteins