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Gastroenterology. 2008 Aug;135(2):689-98. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2008.05.035. Epub 2008 May 15.

Regulation of bile acid synthesis by the nuclear receptor Rev-erbalpha.

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Institut Pasteur de Lille, Département d'Athérosclérose, Lille, France; Inserm, U545, Lille, France.



Conversion into bile acids represents an important route to remove excess cholesterol from the body. Rev-erbalpha is a nuclear receptor that participates as one of the clock genes in the control of circadian rhythmicity and plays a regulatory role in lipid metabolism and adipogenesis. Here, we investigate a potential role for Rev-erbalpha in the control of bile acid metabolism via the regulation of the neutral bile acid synthesis pathway.


Bile acid synthesis and CYP7A1 gene expression were studied in vitro and in vivo in mice deficient for or over expressing Rev-erbalpha.


Rev-erbalpha-deficient mice display a lower synthesis rate and an impaired excretion of bile acids into the bile and feces. Expression of CYP7A1, the rate-limiting enzyme of the neutral pathway, is decreased in livers of Rev-erbalpha-deficient mice, whereas adenovirus-mediated hepatic Rev-erbalpha overexpression induces its expression. Moreover, bile acid feeding resulted in a more pronounced suppression of hepatic CYP7A1 expression in Rev-erbalpha-deficient mice. Hepatic expression of E4BP4 and the orphan nuclear receptor small heterodimer partner (SHP), both negative regulators of CYP7A1 expression, is increased in Rev-erbalpha-deficient mice. Promoter analysis and chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated that SHP and E4BP4 are direct Rev-erbalpha target genes. Finally, the circadian rhythms of liver CYP7A1, SHP, and E4BP4 messenger RNA levels were perturbed in Rev-erbalpha-deficient mice.


These data identify a role for Rev-erbalpha in the regulatory loop of bile acid synthesis, likely acting by regulating both hepatic SHP and E4BP4 expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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