Bile acids activate EGF receptor via a TGF-α-dependent mechanism in human cholangiocyte cell lines

Nathan W. Werneburg, Jung Hwan Yoon, Hajime Higuchi, Gregory James Gores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Bile acids transactivate the EGF receptor (EGFR) in cholangiocytes. However, the mechanisms by which bile acids transactivate the EGFR remain unknown. Our aims were to examine the effects of bile acids on EGFR activation in human cholangiocyte cell lines KMBC and H-69. Bile acids stimulated cell growth and induced EGFR phosphorylation in a ligand-dependent manner. Although cells constitutively expressed several EGFR ligands, only transforming growth factor-α (TGF-α) antisera effectively blocked bile acid-induced EGFR phosphorylation. Consistent with the concept that matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity is requisite for TGF-α membrane release and ligand function, bile acid transactivation of EGFR and cell growth was blocked by an MMP inhibitor. In conclusion, bile acids activate EGFR via a TGF-α-dependent mechanism, and this EGFR activation promotes cellular growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number1 48-1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003



  • c-Src kinase
  • Ligand dependent
  • Matrix metalloproteinase
  • Transactivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology

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