1. 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin3 (VD) is a nuclear hormone that has important cell regulatory functions but also a strong calcemic effect. EB1089 is a potent antiproliferative VD analogue, which has a modified side chain resulting in increased metabolic stability and a selective functional profile. Since EB1089 is considered for potential systemic application, it will be investigated to what extent its recently identified metabolites (hydroxylated at positions C26 and C26a) contribute to biological profile of the VD analogue. 2. Limited protease digestion analysis demonstrated that EB1089 is able to stabilize the high affinity ligand binding conformation of the VDR, starting at concentrations of 0.1 nM and affecting up to 80% of all receptor molecules. The metabolites EB1445 and EB1470 showed to be 100 fold less potent than EB1089, whereas the remaining three metabolites (EB1435, EB1436 and EB1446) showed a clearly reduced ability to stabilize the high affinity ligand binding conformation. Interestingly, at pharmacological concentrations all EB1089 metabolites stabilized a second, apparently lower affinity conformation to a much higher extent than EB1089. 3. In reporter gene assays all metabolites showed lower potency than EB1089. Moreover, the preference of EB1089 for activation of VDR binding to sites formed by inverted palindromic arrangements spaced by nine nucleotide (IP9-type VD response elements) appeared to be reduced (with EB1445 and EB1470) or completely lost (with EB1435, EB1436 and EB1446). The ranking of EB1089 and its metabolites that was obtained by limited protease digestion and reporter gene assays was confirmed by an analysis of their antiproliferative effect in breast cancer cells. . The potency and selectivity of the EB1089 metabolites in mediating gene regulatory effects was found to be drastically reduced in comparison to the parent compound suggesting that the contribution of the metabolites to the biological effect of EB1089 is minor. However, the compounds showed to be interesting tools for understanding the selective biological profile of EB1089.