VDR (Vitamin D Receptor)
RXR and its Brothers

Author: Gianpiero Pescarmona
Date: 13/07/2007



A short protein description with the molecular wheight, isoforms, etc...
Use, when available, the link to Wikipedia (Es Trypsin)

External links not available on Wikipedia have to be added here


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Wikigenes includes links to

  • NCBI Gene
  • iHOP resource
  • OMIM
  • SNPedia
  • UniProt
  • Ensembl
  • HGNC


When relevant for the function

  • Primary structure
  • Secondary structure
  • Tertiary structure
  • Quaternary structure

Protein Aminoacids Percentage (Width 700 px)

Low Trp in VDR (like IL-6 and TNFalpha)

tryptophan vdr


VDR synthesis

Evidence for the impairment of the vitamin D activation pathway by cyclosporine A

VDR phosphorylation

Upon ligand binding the 1alpha,25-dihydroxy Vitamin D3 receptor (VDR) undergoes a conformational change that allows interaction with coactivator proteins including p160/SRC family members and the multimeric DRIP complex through the DRIP205 subunit. Casein kinase II (CKII) phosphorylates VDR both in vitro and in vivo at serine 208 within the hinge domain. This phosphorylation does not affect the ability of VDR to bind DNA, but increases its ability to transactivate target promoters (Arriagada, 2007).

Human vitamin D receptor phosphorylation by casein kinase II at Ser-208 potentiates transcriptional activation.

Human vitamin D receptor is selectively phosphorylated by protein kinase C on serine 51, a residue crucial to its trans-activation function.

Integration of hormone signaling in the regulation of human 25(OH)D3 24-hydroxylase transcription.

Vitamin D3 down-regulates monocyte TLR expression and triggers hyporesponsiveness to pathogen-associated molecular patterns.

Regulation of vitamin D receptor expression via estrogen-induced activation of the ERK 1/2 signaling pathway in colon and breast cancer cells.

Induction of apoptosis by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in MCF-7 Vitamin D3-resistant variant can be sensitized by TPA.

mRNA synthesis
protein synthesis

post-translational modifications


VDR nuclear import
VDR nuclear translocation


cellular localization,
biological function

  • Enzymes
BRENDA - The Comprehensive Enzyme Information System"URL":
KEGG Pathways"URL":
Human Metabolome Database"URL":
  • Cell signaling and Ligand transport
  • Structural proteins



Mouse knockout for VDR

mRNA tissues distribution

VDR isoforms VDRA 48 kd VDRB 54

VDR polymorphysm and diseases


Vitamin D3 compounds offer an alternative approach to anti-hormonal therapies for human breast cancer. 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25-(OH)2D3) acts through the nuclear Vitamin D3 receptor (VDR), a phosphoprotein and ligand-dependent transcription factor. Our lab has shown that 1,25-(OH)2D3 induces apoptosis in MCF-7 cells by disruption of mitochondrial function which is associated with Bax translocation to mitochondria, cytochrome c release, and production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). TPA, a protein kinase C (PKC) activator, does not induce cytochrome c release or Bax translocation, thus demonstrating that it has no effect on mitochondria and apoptosis on its own. However, when the MCF-7D3Res cells (a Vitamin D3-resistant variant) are treated with 1,25-(OH)2D3 in the presence of TPA, the cells displayed apoptotic morphology and redistribution of both cytochrome c and Bax. TPA pretreatment greatly enhances 1,25-(OH)2D3 stimulated 24-hydroxylase luciferase activity and VDR protein expression, although transactivation is lower in the MCF-7D3Res cells compared to the parental cell line. The observation that the phorbol ester TPA sensitizes the Vitamin D3-resistant variant to the effects of 1,25-(OH)2D3 suggests an important role for phosphorylation in dictating sensitivity to Vitamin D3-mediated apoptosis. This study demonstrates that the effects of 1,25-(OH)2D3 on mitochondrial disruption might be sensitized through activators of PKC.(Nervaez CJ)

Association of vitamin D receptor (Fok-I) polymorphism with the clinical presentation of calcium urolithiasis

Vitamin D receptor polymorphisms and diseases.

Abstract Additive effects of the chemokine receptor 2, vitamin D receptor, interleukin-6 polymorphisms and cardiovascular risk factors on the prevalence of myocardial infarction in patients below 65 years.

Vitamin D receptor gene polymorphisms in relation to Vitamin D related disease states.


Large-scale in silico and microarray-based identification of direct 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 target genes. 2005

VDRE Controlled genes table 2
VDRE Controlled genes table 3
VDRE Controlled genes table 4

Regulation of vitamin D receptor expression via estrogen-induced activation of the ERK 1/2 signaling pathway in colon and breast cancer cells. 2005

Phytoestrogens regulate transcription and translation of vitamin D receptor in colon cancer celLS 2006

Three cell lines established from patients with VDDR-II (Rh-VDR, Sh-VDR, and Ab-VDR) (Lymphocyte cell lines from vitamin D-dependent rickets type II show functional defects in the 1 alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 receptor. 1990) showed no specific binding of 1,25(OH)2D3 to a receptor and treatment of the cultured cells with 1,25(OH)2D3 did not stimulate production of 24,25-dihydroxy-vitamin D3 (24,25(OH)2D3), a response which is diagnostic of the presence of a functional 1,25(OH)2D3 receptor.

Ca prostata e polimorfismi nelle etnie
Le interazioni fra il gene del recettore nucleare della vitamina D (VDR) ed il gene SRD5A2 che codifica per un enzima nella cascata del DHT influenzano la proliferazione delle cellule prostatiche, ma la combinazione di varianti di questi due geni influenzano il rischio di tumore prostatico negli uomini di razza bianca ed in quelli di razza ispanica. La normale crescita prostatica è promossa da interazioni fra la vitamina D e la cascata che converte il testosterone in DHT. La vitamina D inibisce la proliferazione delle cellule prostatiche in vitro, e la diminuzione dei livelli sierici di vitamina D è associata ad un elevato rischio di tumore prostatico. Oltre alle influenze genetiche, il rischio deriva anche da fattori correlati all'etnia, come la dieta, che potrebbero interagire con i geni per influenzare il rischio, ma si tratta di un fattore molto delicato da esaminare. In ogni caso, ignorare differenze genetiche che esistono davvero significa rinunciare ad informazioni potenzialmente valide che possono aiutare ad identificare aree in cui migliorare rilevamento, trattamento e sopravivenza di malattie gravi come il tumore prostatico. E' necessario prestare attenzione nell'uso di queste differenze per migliorare lo stato di salute senza oggettivizzare nessuno. (Clin Cancer Res 2008; 14: 3223-9)

if serum 1,25(OH)2D3 is high, cells are resistant ?

Deletion of Deoxyribonucleic Acid Binding Domain of the Vitamin D Receptor Abrogates Genomic and Nongenomic Functions of Vitamin D 2002

Papers cGMP VDR

Papers cAMP VDR

Papers p53 VDR

VDR homodimer

The vitamin D receptor represses transcription of the pituitary transcription factor Pit-1 gene without involvement of the retinoid X receptor. 2006

Nuclear receptor coactivators facilitate vitamin D receptor homodimer action on direct repeat hormone response elements. 2000

Identification of a vitamin D3 response element in the fibronectin gene that is bound by a vitamin D3 receptor homodimer. 1996

Identification of a vitamin D receptor homodimer-type response element in the rat calcitriol 24-hydroxylase gene promoter. 1994

Vitamin D regulates the phenotype of human breast cancer cells. 2007

VDR heterodimer

High-dose vitamin D(3) during intensive-phase antimicrobial treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis: a double-blind randomised controlled trial. 2011
Lancet. 2011 Jan 15;377(9761):242-50. Epub 2011 Jan 5.
Martineau AR, Timms PM, Bothamley GH, Hanifa Y, Islam K, Claxton AP, Packe GE, Moore-Gillon JC, Darmalingam M, Davidson RN, Milburn HJ, Baker LV, Barker RD, Woodward NJ, Venton TR, Barnes KE, Mullett CJ, Coussens AK, Rutterford CM, Mein CA, Davies GR, Wilkinson RJ, Nikolayevskyy V, Drobniewski FA, Eldridge SM, Griffiths CJ.

Queen Mary University of London, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK. a.martineau@qmul.ac.uk

Comment in:

* Lancet. 2011 Jan 15;377(9761):189-90.


BACKGROUND: Vitamin D was used to treat tuberculosis in the pre-antibiotic era, and its metabolites induce antimycobacterial immunity in vitro. Clinical trials investigating the effect of adjunctive vitamin D on sputum culture conversion are absent.

METHODS: We undertook a multicentre randomised controlled trial of adjunctive vitamin D in adults with sputum smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis in London, UK. 146 patients were allocated to receive 2·5 mg vitamin D(3) or placebo at baseline and 14, 28, and 42 days after starting standard tuberculosis treatment. The primary endpoint was time from initiation of antimicrobial treatment to sputum culture conversion. Patients were genotyped for TaqI and FokI polymorphisms of the vitamin D receptor, and interaction analyses were done to assess the influence of the vitamin D receptor genotype on response to vitamin D(3). This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov number NCT00419068.

FINDINGS: 126 patients were included in the primary efficacy analysis (62 assigned to intervention, 64 assigned to placebo). Median time to sputum culture conversion was 36·0 days in the intervention group and 43·5 days in the placebo group (adjusted hazard ratio 1·39, 95% CI 0·90-2·16; p=0.14). TaqI genotype modified the effect of vitamin D supplementation on time to sputum culture conversion (p(interaction)=0·03), with enhanced response seen only in patients with the tt genotype (8·09, 95% CI 1·36-48·01; p=0·02). FokI genotype did not modify the effect of vitamin D supplementation (p(interaction)=0·85). Mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration at 56 days was 101·4 nmol/L in the intervention group and 22·8 nmol/L in the placebo group (95% CI for difference 68·6-88·2; p<0·0001).

INTERPRETATION: Administration of four doses of 2·5 mg vitamin D(3) increased serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in patients receiving intensive-phase treatment for pulmonary tuberculosis. Vitamin D did not significantly affect time to sputum culture conversion in the whole study population, but it did significantly hasten sputum culture conversion in participants with the tt genotype of the TaqI vitamin D receptor polymorphism.

1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D decreases HTRA1 promoter activity in the rhesus monkey--a plausible explanation for the influence of vitamin D on age-related macular degeneration?, 2013

  • Age-related macular degeneration is the major cause of blindness in the elderly worldwide and the risk is influenced by both environmental and genetic risk factors. One important disease-associated region in humans is located on 10q26 and includes the two candidate genes ARMS2 and HTRA1. However, determination of the causative gene has not yet been possible and examining the situation in the rhesus monkey may help understand the situation in humans. In a recent paper, we characterized the rhesus monkey 10q26-orthologue region on chromosome 9 in detail and identified the drusen-associated HTRA1 promoter SNP rs196357513 as a putative risk factor. In this study, we predicted 9 binding sites for the vitamin D-dependent transcription factor vitamin D receptor in the rhesus HTRA1 promoter, one of which is destroyed by the rs196357513-risk allele. As patients with vitamin D deficit are at increased risk for age-related macular degeneration, a luciferase assay in transiently transfected ARPE19-cells was performed to evaluate the influence of the SNP rs196357513 and of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D on the rhesus monkey HTRA1 promoter activity. This revealed that the luciferase activity of the promoter construct containing the rs196357513 wild type allele was significantly reduced after vitamin D stimulation. An in silico analysis and literature search imply that this regulation could also play a role in human HTRA1 expression. Moreover, HTRA1 promoter activity of the construct containing the rs196357513 risk allele appeared diminished in comparison to the construct with the wild type allele, albeit this difference was not significant. The lower promoter activity due to the rhesus monkey rs196357513 risk allele apparently contradicts the common hypothesis for the human HTRA1 promoter risk allele of SNP rs11200638, for which a higher promoter activity has been observed. Our data point to a yet unexpected effect of decreased HTRA1 expression on drusen pathogenesis. Thus not only a higher HTRA1 expression, but an imbalance of HTRA1 might be disease-relevant. Both findings require closer analysis, but if relevance for humans proves true, it would impact current age-related macular degeneration research and treatment.
2008-02-02T19:16:30 - Gianpiero Pescarmona

A limited number of genes are involved in the differentiation of germinal center B cells.
Nakayama Y, Stabach P, Maher SE, Mahajan MC, Masiar P, Liao C, Zhang X, Ye ZJ, Tuck D, Bothwell AL, Newburger PE, Weissman SM.
J Cell Biochem. 2006 Dec 1;99(5):1308-25.
Department of Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, 300 Cedar St., New Haven, Connecticut 06510, USA. yasuhiro.nakayama@yale.edu

Mature B cells, upon activation, progressively differentiate through centroblasts into centrocytes and finally to plasmacytes that express large amounts of selected immunoglobulins. A significant part of this maturation is thought to involve induction of the unfolded protein response (UPR). We have compared gene expression in normal germinal center centroblasts, centrocytes, lymphoblastoid cells undergoing induced UPR, and the CCL155 plasmacytoma cell line. In the centroblast to centrocyte transition there is a change in the expression of a relatively small number of genes. These include a limited subset of the genes upregulated by a fully activated UPR as well as a small number of other transcription factors, some disulphide isomerases, and other genes. This is consistent with a model in which this transition is mediated by changes in the levels of expression of transcription factor B-lymphocyte-induced maturation protein 1 (Blimp1) (PRDM1), BACH2, X-box binding protein 1 (XBP1), interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4), and possibly vitamin D receptor (VDR) expression, together with post-transcriptional changes and a limited induction of aspects of the UPR. 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.


2008-02-02T19:14:41 - Gianpiero Pescarmona


2008-02-02T19:13:26 - Gianpiero Pescarmona

Platelets in ko mouse

2008-02-02T19:10:21 - Gianpiero Pescarmona

Clin Calcium. 2006 Jul;16(7):1173-79.Links
[Vitamin D-vitamin D receptor system regulates antithrombogenicity in vivo]
[Article in Japanese]

Aihara K, Azuma H, Matsumoto T.

The University of Tokushima Graduate School, Institute of Health Biosciences, Department of Medicine and Bioregulatory Sciences.

Although it has been well documented that vitamin D receptor (VDR) activation influences the expression of various genes involved in calcium homeostasis and cell differentiation, the physiological role of VDR action in hemostasis remains unclear. We studied thrombogenicity in normocalcemic VDR knock-out (KO) mice on a high calcium diet in comparison with that in wild-type mice and that in hypocalcemic VDRKO mice fed a regular diet. Platelet aggregation was significantly enhanced in normocalcemic VDRKO mice. Aortic endothelial nitric-oxide (NO) synthase expression and urinary NOx excretion were reduced in hypocalcemic VDRKO mice but not in normocalcemic VDRKO mice. The gene expression of antithrombin in the liver and that of thrombomodulin in the aorta, liver and kidney were down-regulated in hypo- and normocalcemic VDRKO mice, whereas tissue factor gene expression in the liver and kidney was up-regulated in VDRKO mice regardless of plasma calcium level. Furthermore, VDRKO mice manifested an exacerbated multi-organ thrombus formation after exogenous lipopolysaccharide injection regardless of the calcemic conditions. These results demonstrate that the vitamin D-VDR system plays a pivotal role in antithrombogenicity in vivo.

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