Clin Biochem Rev. 2015 May; 36(2): 53–61.
Jackson W Ryan,1 Paul H Anderson,1 and Howard A Morris 1,2
The vitamin D receptor (VDR), a nuclear transcription factor, elicits physiological regulation of gene transcription following binding of its ligand, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D. The major biological activities of vitamin D contribute to regulation of plasma calcium and phosphate homeostasis and bone remodeling, although recent evidence suggests that vitamin D, like other steroid hormone receptors, can regulate a diverse range of biological activities across many tissues. Such properties raise the notion that vitamin D deficiency may not only be detrimental to bone and muscular health, but also a risk factor for a number of adverse health outcomes including increased risk of cardiovascular disease, inflammation, immune system disorders and cancer. Advances in transcriptional research provide data not only on ligand-dependent activities of the VDR, but other activities of vitamin D extending to rapid modulation of intra-cellular signaling pathways as well as apparent ligand-independent interactions between the VDR and other transcriptionally active proteins.
In this review, we detail the chief molecular activities of the VDR in
- regulating gene transcription,
- intracellular signaling and
- actions of VDR via binding to transcriptional regulating proteins.
The breadth of biological activities attributed to vitamin D informs clinical biochemists and health care professionals on the implications of vitamin D deficiency for health.
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