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J Biol Chem. 2000 May 19;275(20):15482-9.

Elevated cholesterol metabolism and bile acid synthesis in mice lacking membrane tyrosine kinase receptor FGFR4.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Texas A&M University, Institute of Biosciences and Technology, Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, Houston, Texas 77030-3303, USA.


Heparan sulfate-regulated transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptor FGFR4 is the major FGFR isotype in mature hepatocytes. Fibroblast growth factor has been implicated in the definition of liver from foregut endoderm where FGFR4 is expressed and stimulation of hepatocyte DNA synthesis in vitro. Here we show that livers of mice lacking FGFR4 exhibited normal morphology and regenerated normally in response to partial hepatectomy. However, the FGFR4 (-/-) mice exhibited depleted gallbladders, an elevated bile acid pool and elevated excretion of bile acids. Cholesterol- and bile acid-controlled liver cholesterol 7alpha-hydroxylase, the limiting enzyme for bile acid synthesis, was elevated, unresponsive to dietary cholesterol, but repressed normally by dietary cholate. Expression pattern and cholate-dependent, cholesterol-induced hepatomegaly in the FGFR4 (-/-) mice suggested that activation of receptor interacting protein 140, a co-repressor of feed-forward activator liver X receptor alpha, may mediate the negative regulation of cholesterol- and bile acid-controlled liver cholesterol 7alpha-hydroxylase transcription by FGFR4 and cholate. The results demonstrate that transmembrane sensors interface with metabolite-controlled transcription networks and suggest that pericellular matrix-controlled liver FGFR4 in particular may ensure adequate cholesterol for cell structures and signal transduction.

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