pp 1-29 | Cite as

Chemistry and Pharmacology of GPBAR1 and FXR Selective Agonists, Dual Agonists, and Antagonists

  • Simona De Marino
  • Carmen Festa
  • Valentina Sepe
  • Angela ZampellaEmail author
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series


In the recent years, bile acid receptors FXR and GPBAR1 have attracted the interest of scientific community and companies, as they proved promising targets for the treatment of several diseases, ranging from liver cholestatic disorders to metabolic syndrome, inflammatory states, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and diabetes.

Consequently, the development of dual FXR/GPBAR1 agonists, as well as selective targeting of one of these receptors, is considered a hopeful possibility in the treatment of these disorders. Because endogenous bile acids and steroidal ligands, which cover the same chemical space of bile acids, often target both receptor families, speculation on nonsteroidal ligands represents a promising and innovative strategy to selectively target GPBAR1 or FXR.

In this review, we summarize the most recent acquisition on natural, semisynthetic, and synthetic steroidal and nonsteroidal ligands, able to interact with FXR and GPBAR1.


Bile acid receptors Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) G-protein-coupled receptor (GPBAR1) Natural ligands Semisynthetic ligands Synthetic ligands 





Bile salt export pump


Chenodeoxycholic acid


Diet-induced obesity


High-fat diet


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease


Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis


Primary biliary cirrhosis


Small heterodimer partner


Ursodeoxycholic acid


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simona De Marino
    • 1
  • Carmen Festa
    • 1
  • Valentina Sepe
    • 1
  • Angela Zampella
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PharmacyUniversity of Naples “Federico II”NaplesItaly

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