Vitamin D, Gene Expression, and Cancer

  • Hector F. DeLuca
Part of the Experimental Biology and Medicine book series (EBAM, volume 27)


Classically, vitamin D was discovered because in its absence the disease rickets, osteomalacia, and hypocalcemic tetany resulted (1, 2). Clearly, vitamin D functions in the regulation of plasma calcium and plasma phosphorus, which in turn results in normal mineralization of the skeleton and the normal functioning of the neuromuscular junction. Vitamin D carries out these functions following its metabolism, as described below, to its active or hormonal form, i.e. 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25-(OH)2D3). This hormone directly stimulates intestinal calcium transport and independently intestinal phosphate transport by mechanisms not yet fully understood (1, 2). In addition, 1,25-(OH)2D3 acts on the osteoblasts together with parathyroid hormone (PTH) to facilitate the mobilization of calcium from bone into the plasma compartment when required. More recently it has been demonstrated that 1,25-(OH)2D3 facilitates the reabsorption of calcium in the distal renal tubule in a mechanism also dependent upon the presence of the PTH (1-3). These actions result in an elevation of plasma calcium and phosphorus, resulting in normal mineralization of the skeleton and neuromuscular function (Figure 1).


Organ Culture System Distal Renal Tubule Intestinal Calcium Transport Human Vitamin Human Myeloid Leukaemia Cell Line 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hector F. DeLuca
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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