Vitamin D3-Induced Promotor Dissociation of PU.1 and YY1 Results in FcεRI Reduction on Dendritic Cells in Atopic Dermatitis

J Immunol. 2021 Feb 1;206(3):531-539. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.2000667. Epub 2020 Dec 21.


Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a severe inflammatory skin disease. Langerhans cells and inflammatory dendritic epidermal cells (IDEC) are located in the epidermis of AD patients and contribute to the inflammatory processes. Both express robustly the high-affinity receptor for IgE, FcεRI, and thereby sense allergens. A beneficial role of vitamin D3 in AD is discussed to be important especially in patients with allergic sensitization. We hypothesized that vitamin D3 impacts FcεRI expression and addressed this in human ex vivo skin, in vitro Langerhans cells, and IDEC models generated from primary human precursor cells. We show in this article that biologically active vitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2-D3] significantly downregulated FcεRI at the protein and mRNA levels of the receptor's α-chain, analyzed by flow cytometry and quantitative RT-PCR. We also describe the expression of a functional vitamin D receptor in IDEC. 1,25(OH)2-D3-mediated FcεRI reduction was direct and resulted in impaired activation of IDEC upon FcεRI engagement as monitored by CD83 expression. FcεRI regulation by 1,25(OH)2-D3 was independent of maturation and expression levels of microRNA-155 and PU.1 (as upstream regulatory axis of FcεRI) and transcription factors Elf-1 and YY1. However, 1,25(OH)2-D3 induced dissociation of PU.1 and YY1 from the FCER1A promotor, evaluated by chromatin immunoprecipitation. We show that vitamin D3 directly reduces FcεRI expression on dendritic cells by inhibiting transcription factor binding to its promotor and subsequently impairs IgE-mediated signaling. Thus, vitamin D3 as an individualized therapeutic supplement for those AD patients with allergic sensitization interferes with IgE-mediated inflammatory processes in AD patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cholecalciferol / metabolism*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / immunology*
  • Down-Regulation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Binding
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism*
  • Receptors, IgE / genetics
  • Receptors, IgE / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Trans-Activators / genetics
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism*
  • YY1 Transcription Factor / genetics
  • YY1 Transcription Factor / metabolism*
  • Young Adult


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Receptors, IgE
  • Trans-Activators
  • YY1 Transcription Factor
  • YY1 protein, human
  • proto-oncogene protein Spi-1
  • Cholecalciferol
  • Immunoglobulin E