Central role of VDR conformations for understanding selective actions of vitamin D(3) analogues

Steroids. Mar-May 2001;66(3-5):213-21. doi: 10.1016/s0039-128x(00)00150-1.


The vitamin D(3) receptor (VDR) acts primarily as a heterodimer with the retinoid X receptor (RXR) on different types of 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (1alpha,25(OH)(2)D(3)) response elements (VDREs). Therefore, DNA-bound VDR-RXR heterodimers can be considered as the molecular switches of 1alpha,25(OH)(2)D(3) signalling. Functional conformations of the VDR within these molecular switches appear to be of central importance for describing the biologic actions of 1alpha,25(OH)(2)D(3) and its analogues. Moreover, VDR conformations provide a molecular basis for understanding the potential selective profile of VDR agonists, which is critical for a therapeutic application. This review discusses VDR conformations and their selective stabilization by 1alpha,25(OH)(2)D(3) and its analogues, such as EB1089 and Gemini, as a monomer in solution or as a heterodimer with RXR bound to different VDREs and complexed with coactivator or corepressor proteins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cholecalciferol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Cholecalciferol / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Protein Conformation
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / chemistry
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / metabolism
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / physiology*
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / chemistry
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / physiology
  • Receptors, Retinoic Acid / metabolism
  • Receptors, Retinoic Acid / physiology
  • Retinoid X Receptors
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / physiology


  • Receptors, Calcitriol
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Receptors, Retinoic Acid
  • Retinoid X Receptors
  • Transcription Factors
  • Cholecalciferol