Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(6), 1672; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19061672
VitaminDWiki suspects that Vitamin D is also essential for cell life
Chiara Ricca 1,†, Alessia Aillon 1,†, Loredana Bergandi 1OrcID, Daniela Alotto 2, Carlotta Castagnoli 2 and Francesca Silvagno 1,†
1 Department of Oncology, University of Torino, Via Santena 5 bis, 10126 Torino, Italy
2 Department of Chirurgia Generale e Specialistiche, Banca della Cute, AOU Città della Salute e della Scienza Torino, Via Zuretti 29, 10126 Torino, Italy
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin D and Human Health)
Vitamin D receptor (VDR) mediates many genomic and non-genomic effects of vitamin D. Recently, the mitochondrial effects of vitamin D have been characterized in many cell types. In this article, we investigated the importance of VDR not only in mitochondrial activity and integrity but also in cell health. The silencing of the receptor in different healthy, non-transformed, and cancer cells initially decreased cell growth and modulated the cell cycle. We demonstrated that, in silenced cells, the increased respiratory activity was associated with elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. In the long run, the absence of the receptor caused impairment of mitochondrial integrity and, finally, cell death. Our data reveal that VDR plays a central role in protecting cells from excessive respiration and production of ROS that leads to cell damage. Because we confirmed our observations in different models of both normal and cancer cells, we conclude that VDR is essential for the health of human tissues.
- “In conclusion, in the present study, we discovered a novel important role for VDR in cell health. We demonstrated that the mitochondrial effects of the receptor not only regulate the respiratory activity but also protect from oxidative damage and preserve mitochondrial integrity and cell survival. Our data were obtained in different cell types, cancerous as well as healthy cells, rendering the discovered novel function a general feature of vitamin D–VDR role in many tissues.”