Short-chain fatty acids enhance nuclear receptor activity through mitogen-activated protein kinase activation and histone deacetylase inhibition.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

In this study, we demonstrate that the pervasive xenobiotic methoxyacetic acid and the commonly prescribed anticonvulsant valproic acid, both short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), dramatically increase cellular sensitivity to estrogens, progestins, and other nuclear hormone receptor ligands. These compounds do not mimic endogenous hormones but rather act to enhance the transcriptional efficacy of ligand activated nuclear hormone receptors by up to 8-fold in vitro and in vivo. Detailed characterization of their mode of action revealed that these SCFAs function as both activators of p42/p44 mitogen-activated protein kinase and as inhibitors of histone deacetylases at doses that parallel known exposure levels. Our results define a class of compounds that possess a dual mechanism of action and function as hormone sensitizers. These findings prompt an evaluation of previously unrecognized drug-drug interactions in women who are administered exogenous hormones while exposed to certain xenobiotic SCFAs. Furthermore, our study highlights the need to structure future screening programs to identify additional hormone sensitizers.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Jansen, MS; Nagel, SC; Miranda, PJ; Lobenhofer, EK; Afshari, CA; McDonnell, DP

Published Date

  • May 4, 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 101 / 18

Start / End Page

  • 7199 - 7204

PubMed ID

  • 15103026

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC406489

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0027-8424

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.0402014101


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States