The steroid hormone 1,25(OH)2D3 modulates the expression of a wide variety of genes in a tissue- and developmentally specific manner. It is well established that 1,25(OH)2D3 can up- or downregulate the expression of genes involved in cell proliferation, differentiation, and mineral homeostasis. The hormone exerts its genomic effects via interactions with the vitamin D receptor or VDR, a member of the superfamily of hormone-activated nuclear receptors which can regulate eukaryotic gene expression. The ligand-bound receptor acts as a transcription factor that binds to specific DNA sequences, HREs, in target gene promoters. The DNA-binding domains of the steroid hormone receptors are highly conserved and contain two zinc-finger motifs that recognize the HREs. The spacing and orientation of the HRE half-sites, as well as the HRE sequence, are critical for proper discrimination by the various receptors. Other nuclear factors such as fos and jun can influence vitamin D-mediated gene expression. A wide range of experimental techniques has been used to increase our understanding of how 1,25(OH)2D3 and its receptor play a central role in gene expression.