Bile acids inhibit NAD+ -dependent 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase transcription in colonocytes

Akira Miyaki, Peiying Yang, Hsin Hsiung Tai, Kotha Subbaramaiah, Andrew J. Dannenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Multiple lines of evidence have suggested a role for both bile acids and prostaglandins (PG) in gastrointestinal carcinogenesis. Levels of PGE 2 are determined by both synthesis and catabolism. Previously, bile acid-mediated induction of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) was found to stimulate PGE2 synthesis. NAD+-dependent 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (15-PGDH), the key enzyme responsible for the catabolism of PGE2, has been linked to colorectal carcinogenesis. In this study, we determined whether bile acids altered the expression of 15-PGDH in human colon cancer cell lines. Treatment with unconjugated bile acids (chenodeoxycholate and deoxycholate) suppressed the transcription of 15-PGDH, resulting in reduced amounts of 15-PGDH mRNA, protein, and enzyme activity. Conjugated bile acids were less potent suppressors of 15-PGDH expression than unconjugated bile acids. Treatment with chenodeoxycholate activated protein kinase C (PKC), leading in turn to increased extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 activity. Small molecules that inhibited bile acid-mediated activation of PKC and ERK1/2 also blocked the downregulation of 15-PGDH. Bile acids induced early growth response factor-1 (Egr-1) and Snail, a repressive transcription factor that bound to the 15-PGDH promoter. Silencing Egr-1 or Snail blocked chenodeoxycholate-mediated downregulation of 15-PGDH. Together, these data indicate that bile acids activate the signal transduction pathway PKC → ERK1/2 → Egr-1 → Snail and thereby suppress 15-PGDH transcription. Bile acids appear to increase the release of PGs from cells by downregulating catabolism in addition to stimulating synthesis. These results provide new mechanistic insights into the link between bile acids and gastrointestinal carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G559-G566
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • Early growth response factor-1
  • Mitogenactivated protein kinase
  • Prostaglandin E
  • Snail

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology
  • Hepatology


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