Common variants of the vitamin D binding protein gene and adverse health outcomes

Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci. Jan-Feb 2013;50(1):1-22. doi: 10.3109/10408363.2012.750262. Epub 2013 Feb 22.


The vitamin D binding protein (DBP) is the major plasma carrier for vitamin D and its metabolites, but it is also an actin scavenger, and is the precursor to the immunomodulatory protein, Gc-MAF. Two missense variants of the DBP gene - rs7041 encoding Asp432Glu and rs4588 encoding Thr436Lys - change the amino acid sequence and alter the protein function. They are common enough to generate population-wide constitutive differences in vitamin D status, based on assay of the serum metabolite, 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD). Whether these variants also influence the role of vitamin D in an immunologic milieu is not known. However, the issue is relevant, given the immunomodulatory effects of DBP and the role of protracted innate immune-related inflammation in response to tissue injury or repeated infection. Indeed, DBP and vitamin D may jointly or independently contribute to a variety of adverse health outcomes unrelated to classical notions of their function in bone and mineral metabolism. This review summarizes the reports to date of associations between DBP variants, and various chronic and infectious diseases. The available information leads us to conclude that DBP variants are a significant and common genetic factor in some common disorders, and therefore, are worthy of closer attention. In view of the heightened interest in vitamin D as a public health target, well-designed studies that look simultaneously at vitamin D and its carrier in relation to genotypes and adverse health outcome should be encouraged.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease / genetics*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Health*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Vitamin D-Binding Protein / chemistry
  • Vitamin D-Binding Protein / genetics*
  • Vitamin D-Binding Protein / metabolism


  • Vitamin D-Binding Protein