Fundamentals of vitamin D hormone-regulated gene expression

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2014 Oct;144 Pt A:5-11. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2013.11.004. Epub 2013 Nov 12.


Initial research focused upon several known genetic targets provided early insight into the mechanism of action of the vitamin D hormone (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3)). Recently, however, a series of technical advances involving the coupling of chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) to unbiased methodologies that initially involved tiled DNA microarrays (ChIP-chip analysis) and now Next Generation DNA Sequencing techniques (ChIP-seq analysis) has opened new avenues of research into the mechanisms through which 1,25(OH)2D3 regulates gene expression. In this review, we summarize briefly the results of this early work and then focus on more recent studies in which ChIP-chip and ChIP-seq analyses have been used to explore the mechanisms of 1,25(OH)2D3 action on a genome-wide scale providing specific target genes as examples. The results of this work have advanced our understanding of the mechanisms involved at both genetic and epigenetic levels and have revealed a series of new principles through which the vitamin D hormone functions to control the expression of genes. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled '16th Vitamin D Workshop'.

Keywords: 1,25(OH)(2)D(3); ChIP-seq methods; Epigenetics; Transcription; Unbiased genome-wide analysis; VDR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / genetics*
  • Transcription, Genetic / drug effects*
  • Vitamin D / pharmacology*
  • Vitamins / pharmacology*


  • Receptors, Calcitriol
  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D