Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 59, Issue 10, pp 2367–2380 | Cite as

Differential Regulation of EGFR–MAPK Signaling by Deoxycholic Acid (DCA) and Ursodeoxycholic Acid (UDCA) in Colon Cancer

  • Sara M. Centuori
  • Jesse D. Martinez


A high-fat diet coincides with increased levels of bile acids. This increase in bile acids, particularly deoxycholic acid (DCA), has been strongly associated with the development of colon cancer. Conversely, ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) may have chemopreventive properties. Although structurally similar, DCA and UDCA present different biological and pathological effects in colon cancer progression. The differential regulation of cancer by these two bile acids is not yet fully understood. However, one possible explanation for their diverging effects is their ability to differentially regulate signaling pathways involved in the multistep progression of colon cancer, such as the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)–mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. This review will examine the biological effects of DCA and UDCA on colon cancer development, as well as the diverging effects of these bile acids on the oncogenic signaling pathways that play a role in colon cancer development, with a particular emphasis on bile acid regulation of the EGFR–MAPK pathway.


Bile salts Colon cancer prevention Colon cancer progression Epidermal growth factor receptor Mitogen-activated protein kinase Mitogenic signaling 



15-Hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase


Protein kinase B




Activator protein 1




Activating transcription factor 2


Brain and reproductive organ-expressed protein


Cholic acid




Chenodeoxycholic acid


Cyclin-dependent kinase 2




Cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase




Epidermal growth factor receptor


E twenty six-like transcription factor 1


Extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2


Farnesoid X receptor-alpha






Histone deacetylase 6


Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha


Intestinal alkaline phosphatase


Nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells inhibitor, alpha


Interleukin 8


Insulin receptor substrate 1


c-Jun N-terminal kinase


Lithocholic acid


Mitogen-activated protein kinase


Murine double minute 2


Matrix metallopeptidase 9




Mucin 2


Nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells


Nuclear receptor subfamily 4 group A member 1


Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase


Prostaglandin E2


Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase


Protein kinase C


Phospholipase A2


Pregnane X receptor


Reactive oxygen species


Taurocholic acid




Taurodeoxycholic acid


Transforming growth factor alpha


G Protein-coupled receptor




Urokinase-type plasminogen activator


Urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor


Vitamin D receptor


Vascular endothelial growth factor



We are thankful to Cecil J. Gomes, BS, who assisted in the editing of this manuscript and also to Josh Brownlee, BS, for assistance with production of 3-dimensional figures. This work was supported by the RO1 CA129688 and the minority supplement CA129688 S1 awarded by the National Institute of Health, to Jesse D. Martinez.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cellular and Molecular MedicineThe University of Arizona Cancer CenterTucsonUSA

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