Bile Acids Up-regulate Death Receptor 5/TRAIL-receptor 2 Expression via a c-Jun N-terminal Kinase-dependent Pathway Involving Sp1

Hajime Higuchi, Annette Grambihler, Ali Canbay, Steven F. Bronk, Gregory J. Gores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

112 Scopus citations


Bile acids up-regulate death receptor 5 (DR5)/TRAIL-receptor 2 (TRAIL-R2) expression thereby sensitizing hepatocytes to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. However, the precise mechanism by which bile acids enhance DR5/TRAIL-R2 expression is unknown. Although several bile acids enhanced DR5/TRAIL-R2 expression, deoxycholic acid (DCA) was the most potent. DCA stimulated JNK activation and the JNK inhibitor SP600125 blocked DCA-induced DR5/TRAIL-R2 mRNA and protein expression. Reporter gene analysis identified a 5′-flanking region containing two Sp1 binding sites within the DR5/TRAIL-R2 promoter as bile acid responsive. Sp1 binding to one of the two sites was enhanced by DCA treatment as evaluated by electrophoretic mobility shift assays and chromatin immunoprecipitation studies. JNK inhibition with SP600125 also blocked binding of Sp1 to the DR5/TRAIL-R2 promoter. Finally, point mutations of the Sp1 binding site attenuated promoter activity. In conclusion, Sp1 is a bile acid-responsive transcription factor that mediates DR5/TRAIL-R2 gene expression down-stream of JNK.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-60
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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