Bile Acids and FXR: Novel Targets for Liver Diseases

Mary Stofan, Grace L. Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Bile acids (BAs) are evolutionally conserved molecules synthesized in the liver from cholesterol and have been shown to be essential for lipid homeostasis. BAs regulate a variety of metabolic functions via modulating nuclear and membrane receptors. Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is the most important nuclear receptor for maintaining BA homeostasis. FXR plays a tissue-specific role in suppressing BA synthesis and promoting BA enterohepatic circulation. Disruption of FXR in mice have been implicated in liver diseases commonly occurring in humans, including cholestasis, non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Strategically targeting FXR activity has been rapidly used to develop novel therapies for the prevention and/or treatment of cholestasis and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. This review provides an updated literature review on BA homeostasis and FXR modulator development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number544
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
StatePublished - Sep 11 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


  • FGF15/19
  • FXR
  • agonist
  • bile acids
  • non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • species difference


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