1alpha,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D(3) [1,25-(OH)(2)D(3)], the active metabolite of vitamin D(3), is known for the maintenance of mineral homeostasis and normal skeletal architecture. However, apart from these traditional calcium-related actions, 1,25-(OH)(2)D(3) and its synthetic analogs are being increasingly recognized for their potent antiproliferative, prodifferentiative, and immunomodulatory activities. These actions of 1,25-(OH)(2)D(3) are mediated through vitamin D receptor (VDR), which belongs to the superfamily of steroid/thyroid hormone nuclear receptors. Physiological and pharmacological actions of 1,25-(OH)(2)D(3) in various systems, along with the detection of VDR in target cells, have indicated potential therapeutic applications of VDR ligands in inflammation (rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis), dermatological indications (psoriasis, actinic keratosis, seborrheic dermatitis, photoaging), osteoporosis (postmenopausal and steroid-induced osteoporosis), cancers (prostate, colon, breast, myelodysplasia, leukemia, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma), secondary hyperparathyroidism, and autoimmune diseases (systemic lupus erythematosus, type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and organ transplantation). As a result, VDR ligands have been developed for the treatment of psoriasis, osteoporosis, and secondary hyperparathyroidism. Furthermore, encouraging results have been obtained with VDR ligands in clinical trials of prostate cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma. This review deals with the molecular aspects of noncalcemic actions of vitamin D analogs that account for the efficacy of VDR ligands in the above-mentioned indications.