<b><i>Significance:</i></b> Most hepatopathies are primarily or secondarily cholestatic in nature. Oxidative stress (OS) is a frequent trait among them, and impairs the machinery to generate bile by triggering endocytic internalization of hepatocellular transporters, thus causing cholestasis. This is critical, since it leads to accelerated transporter degradation, which could explain the common post-transcriptional downregulation of transporter expression in human cholestatic diseases. <b><i>Recent Advances:</i></b> The mechanisms involved in OS-induced hepatocellular transporter internalization are being revealed. Filamentous actin (F-actin) cytoskeleton disorganization and/or detachment of crosslinking actin proteins that afford transporter stability have been characterized as causal factors. Activation of redox-sensitive signaling pathways leading to changes in phosphorylation status of these structures is involved, including Ca<sup>2+</sup>-mediated activation of "classical" and "novel" protein kinase C (PKC) isoforms or redox-signaling cascades downstream of NADPH oxidase. <b><i>Critical Issues:</i></b> Despite the well-known occurrence of hepatocellular transporter internalization in human hepatopathies, the cholestatic implications of this phenomenon have been overlooked. Accordingly, no specific treatment has been established in the clinical practice for its prevention/reversion. <b><i>Future Directions:</i></b> We need to improve our knowledge on the pro-oxidant triggering factors and the multiple signaling pathways that mediate this oxidative injury in each cholestatic hepatopathy, so as to envisage tailor-made therapeutic strategies for each case. Meanwhile, administration of antioxidants or heme oxygenase-1 induction to elevate the hepatocellular levels of the endogenous scavenger bilirubin are promising alternatives that need to be re-evaluated and implemented. They may complement current treatments in cholestasis aimed to enhance transcriptional carrier expression, by providing membrane stability to the newly synthesized carriers. <i>Antioxid. Redox Signal.</i> 35, 808-831.
Antioxid Redox Signal (Antioxidants & redox signaling)
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