25-Hydroxyvitamin D-1α-Hydroxylases: An Examination of Renal and Extrarenal Sources

  • B. W. Hollis
  • R. W. Gray
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 105)


Vitamin D is a 9,10-seco steroid and is thus treated as such in the numbering of its carbon skeleton (Fig. 1). Vitamin D exists in two distinct forms, vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. As can be seen from Fig. 1, vitamin D3 is a 27-carbon cholesterol derivative, while vitamin D2 is a 28-carbon molecule derived from the plant sterol ergosterol. Besides containing an extra methyl group, vitamin D2 also differs from vitamin D3 in that it contains a double bond between carbon 22 and 23. The most important aspects of vitamin D chemistry center around its cis-triene structure. This structure confers upon vitamin D a characteristic UV absorption maximum of 265 nm and a minimum of 228 nm. This unique cis-triene structure makes vitamin D and related metabolites susceptible to oxidation, ultraviolet light-induced conformation changes, heat-induced conformation changes and free radical attack. As a rule, the majority of these transformation products have lower biological activity than vitamin D.


Glucocorticoid NADPH Prolactin Calcitonin Lactone 


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. W. Hollis
  • R. W. Gray

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