Reactome: A Curated Pathway Database

Recycling of bile acids and salts

Stable Identifier
Homo sapiens
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Of the 20-40 grams of bile salts released daily by the liver, all but approximately 0.5 grams are reabsorbed from the intestine, returned to the liver, and re-used. This recycling involves a series of transport processes: uptake by enterocytes mediated by ASBT (SLC10A2), traversal of the enterocyte cytosol mediated by ileal bile acid binding protein (I-BABP - FABP6), efflux from enterocytes mediated by MRP3 (ABCC3), travel through the portal blood as a complex with albumin, and uptake by hepatocytes mediated by Na+-taurocholate transporting protein (NTPC - SLC10A1) and, to a lesser extent by organic anion transporting proteins A, C, and 8 (OATPA - SLCO1A2, OATPC - SLCO1B1, and OATP-8 - SLCO1B3). Once returned to the hepatocyte cytosol, bile acids (generated in the intestine by the action of bacteria on secreted bile salts) are activated by conjugation with coenzyme A, then coupled to glycine or taurine, regenerating bile salts for re-export into the bile, mediated by the bile salt export pump, ABCB11 (Kullak-Ublick et al. 2004; Mihalik et al. 2002; Trauner and Boyer 2003). Unmodified bile salts returned to the hepatocyte cytosol can be re-exported by ABCB11 without further modification.

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