General Principles of Vitamin D Action and Mechanism-Based Search for Analogs with Specific Actions

  • H. F. DeLuca
  • C. Zierold
  • H. M. Darwish
Conference paper
Part of the Ernst Schering Research Foundation Workshop book series (SCHERING FOUND, volume 16)


There is no doubt that vitamin D which is normally formed in skin or obtained in the diet must be altered before it can carry out its functions (DeLuca 1974, 1988). First, 25-hydroxylation is carried out in the microsomes and mitochondria of liver to produce the circulating form of vitamin D 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25-OH-D3). Secondly, 1α-hydroxylation produces the final hormonal or active form 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25-(OH)2D3). In normal humans and animals, this occurs exclusively in the proximal convoluted tubule cells of the kidney, with the notable exception of the placenta (DeLuca 1974, 1988). There is abundant evidence to support the idea that 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25-(OH)2D3) is the metabolically active form of vitamin D (DeLuca 1974, 1988). It is believed to carry out both the classical functions of the vitamin and some of the more recently found functions in differentiation and development and in suppression of the parathyroid glands (Darwish and DeLuca 1993; DeLuca 1988, 1992). Furthermore, new and unknown functions of vitamin D will likely be discovered, as, for example, in the female reproductive system (Halloran and DeLuca 1980; Kwiecinski et al. 1989), in the islet cells of the pancreas (Chertow et al. 1983), and in the keratinocytes of skin (Smith et al. 1986). This list will probably become longer and will include abnormal sites such as in malignant tissue that contains significant amounts of vitamin D receptor (VDR) (Eisman 1984).


Parathyroid Gland Intestinal Calcium Transport Proximal Convoluted Tubule Cell Parathyroid Hormone Gene Bone Calcium Mobilization 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. F. DeLuca
  • C. Zierold
  • H. M. Darwish

There are no affiliations available

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