Role of megalin and cubilin in the metabolism of vitamin D(3)

Ther Apher Dial. 2011 Jun;15 Suppl 1:14-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-9987.2011.00920.x.


Vitamin D deficiency is associated with various medical conditions including musculoskeletal disorders, infection, metabolic diseases, and cardiovascular disease. Megalin and cubilin, endocytic receptors in proximal tubule cells, are involved in the reabsorption of vitamin D binding protein from glomerular filtrates and the subsequent intracellular conversion of 25-hydroxyvitamin D(3) to biologically active 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3). Dysfunction of these receptors, which is commonly found in patients with diabetic nephropathy, even at early stages, may explain why vitamin D deficiency is often complicated in these patients. Therapeutic strategies to protect the functions of these receptors from injury could be used to prevent vitamin D deficiency and its related disorders.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcifediol / metabolism*
  • Calcitriol / metabolism
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / complications
  • Humans
  • Low Density Lipoprotein Receptor-Related Protein-2 / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / etiology
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / prevention & control*


  • Low Density Lipoprotein Receptor-Related Protein-2
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • intrinsic factor-cobalamin receptor
  • Calcitriol
  • Calcifediol