Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2014 Jan 1;306(1):G48-58. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00234.2013. Epub 2013 Oct 31.

FXR silencing in human colon cancer by DNA methylation and KRAS signaling.

Author information

Dept. of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Rutgers Univ., Piscataway, NJ 08854.

Erratum in

  • Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2014 Feb 15;306(4):G357.


Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a bile acid nuclear receptor described through mouse knockout studies as a tumor suppressor for the development of colon adenocarcinomas. This study investigates the regulation of FXR in the development of human colon cancer. We used immunohistochemistry of FXR in normal tissue (n = 238), polyps (n = 32), and adenocarcinomas, staged I-IV (n = 43, 39, 68, and 9), of the colon; RT-quantitative PCR, reverse-phase protein array, and Western blot analysis in 15 colon cancer cell lines; NR1H4 promoter methylation and mRNA expression in colon cancer samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas; DNA methyltransferase inhibition; methyl-DNA immunoprecipitation (MeDIP); bisulfite sequencing; and V-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) knockdown assessment to investigate FXR regulation in colon cancer development. Immunohistochemistry and quantitative RT-PCR revealed that expression and function of FXR was reduced in precancerous lesions and silenced in a majority of stage I-IV tumors. FXR expression negatively correlated with phosphatidylinositol-4, 5-bisphosphate 3 kinase signaling and the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. The NR1H4 promoter is methylated in ~12% colon cancer The Cancer Genome Atlas samples, and methylation patterns segregate with tumor subtypes. Inhibition of DNA methylation and KRAS silencing both increased FXR expression. FXR expression is decreased early in human colon cancer progression, and both DNA methylation and KRAS signaling may be contributing factors to FXR silencing. FXR potentially suppresses epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and other oncogenic signaling cascades, and restoration of FXR activity, by blocking silencing mechanisms or increasing residual FXR activity, represents promising therapeutic options for the treatment of colon cancer.


bile acids; colon cancer; farnesoid X receptor; nuclear receptor; promoter methylation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center