Non-classical mechanisms of transcriptional regulation by the vitamin D receptor: insights into calcium homeostasis, immune system regulation and cancer chemoprevention.J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2014; 144 Pt A:74-80JS
Hormonal 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D] signals through the nuclear vitamin D receptor (VDR), a ligand-regulated transcription factor. Gene expression profiling studies have revealed that 1,25(OH)2D signaling through the VDR can lead to activation or repression of target gene transcription in roughly equal proportions. Classically, transcriptional regulation by the VDR, similar to other nuclear receptors, has been characterized by its capacity to recognize high affinity cognate vitamin D response elements (VDREs), located in the regulatory regions of target genes. Several biochemical studies revealed that the VDRE-bound receptor recruits a series of coregulatory proteins, leading to transactivation of adjacent target genes. However, genome-wide and other analyses of VDR binding have revealed that a subset of VDR binding sites does not contain VDREs, and that VDREs are not associated with transcriptionally repressed VDR target genes. Work over the last ∼20 years and in particular recent findings have revealed a diverse array of mechanisms by which VDR can form complexes with several other classes of transcriptional activators, leading to repression of gene transcription. Moreover, these efforts have led to several insights into the molecular basis for the physiological regulation of calcium homeostasis, immune system function and cancer chemoprevention by 1,25(OH)2D/VDR signaling. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled '16th Vitamin D Workshop'.