Liganded VDR induces CYP3A4 in small intestinal and colon cancer cells via DR3 and ER6 vitamin D responsive elements

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2002 Dec 20;299(5):730-8. doi: 10.1016/s0006-291x(02)02742-0.


The nuclear vitamin D receptor (VDR) mediates the effects of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (1,25D(3)) to alter intestinal gene transcription and promote calcium absorption. Because 1,25D(3) also exerts anti-cancer effects, we examined the efficacy of 1,25D(3) to induce cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes. Exposure of human colorectal adenocarcinoma cells (HT-29) to 10(-8)M 1,25D(3) resulted in >/=3-fold induction of CYP3A4 mRNA and protein as assessed by RT-PCR and Western blotting, respectively. Six vitamin D responsive element (VDRE)-like sequences in the promoter region of the CYP3A4 gene were then individually tested for their ability to enhance transcription. A canonical DR3-type element in the distal region of the promoter (-7719-GGGTCAgcaAGTTCA-7733), and a proximal, non-classical everted repeat with a spacer of 6 bp (ER6; -169-TGAACTcaaaggAGGTCA-152) were identified as functional VDREs in this CYP gene. These data suggest that 1,25D(3)-dependent, VDR-mediated induction of CYP3A4 may constitute a chemoprotective mechanism for detoxification of enteric xenobiotics and carcinogens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Calcitriol / pharmacology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / biosynthesis
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics*
  • Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • HT29 Cells
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Intestine, Small* / metabolism
  • Ligands
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Vitamin D Response Element*


  • Ligands
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • CYP3A protein, human
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A
  • CYP3A4 protein, human
  • Calcitriol