College of Pharmacy

7 Greenhouse Road Kingston, RI 02881 – Office: 401.874.2761 Fax: 401.874.2181

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Ruitang Deng, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor
  • Office: 395C Lab: 350
  • Phone: 401.874.4950
  • Email:
  • Mailing Address: 7 Greenhouse Road, Kingston, RI 02881


The long-term objective of our research program is to understand how cholesterol metabolism and bile acid homeostasis are regulated in physiological as well as pathological conditions. The homeostasis of bile acids is maintained through a tightly regulated enterohepatic circulation and canalicular secretion of bile acids via bile salt export pump (BSEP) is the rate-limiting step in the circulation.

BSEP plays a determinant role in maintaining intrahepatic as well as systemic bile acid levels. Impairment of BSEP expression by xenobiotics such as diabetic drug troglitazone and endobiotics such as estrogens leads to an increase in intrahepatic as well as systemic bile acid levels, a hallmark for intrahepatic cholestasis.

On the other hand, enhancement of BSEP expression by xenobiotics such as guggulsterone and endobiotics such as bile acids has potential therapeutic effects on intrahepatic cholestasis and cholesterol metabolism disorders such as hypercholesterolemia and gallstone disease.

New evidences indicate that bile acid imbalance is also implicated in such diseases as hepatocellular carcinoma and other metabolic syndromes. Consistent with such notion, we found that BSEP is dysregulated in patients with those conditions, especially with HCC. We are currently investigating the underlying mechanisms and molecular pathogenesis.


Bile acids and cholesterol homeostasis, regulation and related diseases Drug transporters, toxicology and delivery Biological and pharmaceutical therapy development.


Postdoctoral, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 1996

Ph.D., Ohio State University, 1992

M.S., Nanjing Agricultural University, China, 1986

B.S., Zhejiang (Agricultural) University, China, 1983


Deng, R, Radke, A, Yang, J, Yan, B. Hypolipidemic Agent Guggulsterone Regulates the Expression of Human Bile Salt Export Pump: Dominance of Transactivation over FXR-Mediated antagonism. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 320:1153-1162 (2007).

Deng, R. Therapeutic effects of guggul and its constituent guggulsterone: cardiovascular benefits. Cardiovascular Drug Reviews. 25:375-390 (2007).

Song, X, Kaimal, R, Yan, B, Deng, R. Liver receptor homolog 1 transcriptionally regulates human bile salt export pump expression. J Lipid Res. 49:973-984 (2008).

Deng, R. Food and food supplements with hypocholesterolemic effects. Recent Patents on Food, Nutrition & Agriculture. 1:15-24 (2009).

Kaimal, R, Song, X, Yan, B, King, R, Deng, R. Differential Modulation of Farnesoid X Receptor Signaling Pathway by Thiazolidinediones. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 330:125-134 (2009).

Deng, R and Chow, TJ. Hypolipidemic, Antioxidant and Antiinflammatory Activities of Spirulina Microalgae. Cardiovasc Ther. 28:e33-45 (2010).

Yang, D, Yang, J, Shi, D, Deng, R and Yan, B. Hypolipidemic agent Z-guggulsterone: metabolism interplays with induction of cholesteryl ester hydrolase ces1 and bile salt export pump. J Lipids Res. 53:529-539 (2012).

Deng, R. A review of the hypoglycemic effects of the five commonly used herbal food supplements. Recent Pat Food Nutr Agric. 4: 50-60 (2012).

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