Bite acids are essential for the solubilization and transport of dietary lipids and are the major products of cholesterol catabolism. Results presented here show that bite acids are physiological ligands for the farnesoid X receptor (FXR), an orphan nuclear receptor. When bound to bite acids, FXR repressed transcription of the gene encoding cholesterol 7α- hydroxylase, which is the rate-limiting enzyme in bile acid synthesis, and activated the gene encoding intestinal bile acid-binding protein, which is a candidate bile acid transporter. These results demonstrate a mechanism by which bile acids transcriptionally regulate their biosynthesis and enterohepatic transport.
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