The crystal structure of the nuclear receptor for vitamin D bound to its natural ligand

Mol Cell. 2000 Jan;5(1):173-9. doi: 10.1016/s1097-2765(00)80413-x.


The action of 1 alpha, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 is mediated by its nuclear receptor (VDR), a ligand-dependent transcription regulator. We report the 1.8 A resolution crystal structure of the complex between a VDR ligand-binding domain (LBD) construct lacking the highly variable VDR-specific insertion domain and vitamin D. The construct exhibits the same binding affinity for vitamin D and transactivation ability as the wild-type protein, showing that the N-terminal part of the LBD is essential for its structural and functional integrity while the large insertion peptide is dispensable. The structure reveals the active conformation of the bound ligand and allows understanding of the different binding properties of some synthetic analogs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Calcitriol / chemistry*
  • Calcitriol / metabolism*
  • Crystallography, X-Ray / methods
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / chemistry*
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / chemistry
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism


  • Ligands
  • Receptors, Calcitriol
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Calcitriol

Associated data

  • PDB/1DB1