Vitamin D3 receptor expression in N-ethylnitrosourea-induced mouse pulmonary adenomas

Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 1994 Oct;11(4):480-6. doi: 10.1165/ajrcmb.11.4.7917316.


An expanded role for vitamin D (1 alpha,25-(OH)2D3) in mammalian systems has been suggested by recent evidence that its receptor (vitamin D receptor [VDR]) is present not only in classical target organs, but in a variety of normal tissues and organs, tumor tissues, and cancer cell lines. Vitamin D is involved not only in the regulation of calcium homeostasis and bone metabolism, but in the regulation of cell proliferation, differentiation, and immune responses. The role vitamin D may play in normal lung growth, development, and maintenance is unknown. Likewise, its part in lung tumorigenesis is unclear. The present study examined VDR binding activity and VDR expression in normal mouse lung and ethylnitrosourea-induced lung adenomas. Binding of 1 alpha,25-(OH)2D3 was specific and saturable over the concentration range of 0.01 to 0.50 nM, with an affinity (Kd) of 0.93 x 10(-10) M and a total binding capacity (Bmax) of 22 fmol/mg of protein. Scatchard analysis yielded a convex curve, which suggests positive receptor cooperativity. The calculated Hill coefficient equals 1.69, at a receptor concentration of 0.4 nM, consistent with dimerization of the receptor. Western blot analysis showed the presence of 60 kD VDR protein in tumor homogenates, while Northern blot analysis detected the 4.4 kb VDR mRNA in tumor tissue preparations. Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization revealed that both adenomatous Clara cells and normal bronchiolar epithelial Clara cells expressed VDR, with the receptor protein present in their nuclei.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / chemically induced
  • Adenoma / metabolism*
  • Adenoma / pathology
  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Blotting, Western
  • Bronchi / drug effects
  • Bronchi / metabolism
  • Bronchi / pathology
  • Ethylnitrosourea / toxicity*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Lung Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Mice
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / biosynthesis*
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / genetics
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / metabolism


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Calcitriol
  • Ethylnitrosourea