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Hepatic reduction of the secondary bile acid 7-oxolithocholic acid is mediated by 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1.

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Odermatt Alex, Da Cunha Thierry, Penno Carlos A, Chandsawangbhuwana Charlie, Reichert Christian, Wolf Armin, Dong Min, Baker Michael E,
Project The Regulation of Glucocorticoid and Mineralocorticoid Hormone Action by 11beta-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal The Biochemical journal
Volume (Issue) 436(3)
Page(s) 621 - 9
Title of proceedings The Biochemical journal
DOI 10.1042/BJ20110022


The oxidized bile acid 7-oxoLCA (7-oxolithocholic acid), formed primarily by gut micro-organisms, is reduced in human liver to CDCA (chenodeoxycholic acid) and, to a lesser extent, UDCA (ursodeoxycholic acid). The enzyme(s) responsible remained unknown. Using human liver microsomes, we observed enhanced 7-oxoLCA reduction in the presence of detergent. The reaction was dependent on NADPH and stimulated by glucose 6-phosphate, suggesting localization of the enzyme in the ER (endoplasmic reticulum) and dependence on NADPH-generating H6PDH (hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase). Using recombinant human 11β-HSD1 (11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1), we demonstrate efficient conversion of 7-oxoLCA into CDCA and, to a lesser extent, UDCA. Unlike the reversible metabolism of glucocorticoids, 11β-HSD1 mediated solely 7-oxo reduction of 7-oxoLCA and its taurine and glycine conjugates. Furthermore, we investigated the interference of bile acids with 11β-HSD1-dependent interconversion of glucocorticoids. 7-OxoLCA and its conjugates preferentially inhibited cortisone reduction, and CDCA and its conjugates inhibited cortisol oxidation. Three-dimensional modelling provided an explanation for the binding mode and selectivity of the bile acids studied. The results reveal that 11β-HSD1 is responsible for 7-oxoLCA reduction in humans, providing a further link between hepatic glucocorticoid activation and bile acid metabolism. These findings also suggest the need for animal and clinical studies to explore whether inhibition of 11β-HSD1 to reduce cortisol levels would also lead to an accumulation of 7-oxoLCA, thereby potentially affecting bile acid-mediated functions.