Ursodeoxycholic Acid (UDCA)

Ursodeoxycholic Acid (UDCA)

"Colonic tumorigenesis involves the processes of initiation and promotion/progression from normal epithelial cells to tumors. Studies in both humans and experimental models of colon cancer indicate that secondary bile acids promote tumor development. In contrast, we have demonstrated previously that another bile acid, ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA), inhibits the development of azoxymethane (AOM)-induced colon cancer in rats. More recently, we have shown that UDCA inhibits AOM-induced hyperproliferation, and aberrant crypt formation and growth."

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Abstract: The nontoxic bile acid ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) is reported to be an anti-apoptotic agent with efficacy against a variety of death stimuli including the cytotoxic bile acid deoxycholic acid (DCA). To gain insight into this anti-apoptotic property, we tested UDCA for its ability to protect the colon carcinoma-derived cell line HCT116 against DCA-induced apoptosis. We found that UDCA could suppress DCA-induced apoptosis in a time- and dose-dependent manner and that this effect correlated with Akt phosphorylation. Importantly, UDCA lost its ability to protect cells from DCA-induced cell death when Akt activity was suppressed genetically using a dominant negative Akt mutant or when PI3K activity was inhibited pharmacologically. These results suggest that UDCA can protect HCT116 cells against DCA-induced apoptosis by stimulating Akt-dependent survival signaling.

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