While the structure of the DNA-binding domain (DBD) of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) has been determined in great detail, the roles of its domains and how to bind the motif of its target genes are still under debate. The VDR DBD consists of two zinc finger modules and a C-terminal extension (CTE), at the end of the C-terminal of each structure presenting α-helix. For the first zinc finger structure, N37 and S-box take part in forming a dimer with 9-cis
retinoid X receptor (RXR), while V26, R50, P-box and S-box participate in binding with VDR response elements (VDRE). For the second zinc finger structure, P61, F62 and H75 are essential in the structure of the VDR homodimer with the residues N37, E92 and F93 of the downstream of partner VDR, which form the inter-DBD interface. T-box of the CTE, especially the F93 and I94, plays a critical role in heterodimerization and heterodimers–VDRE binding. Six essential residues (R102, K103, M106, I107, K109, and R110) of the CTE α-helix of VDR construct one interaction face, which packs against the DBD core of the adjacent symmetry mate. In 1,25(OH)2
-activated signaling, the VDR-RXR heterodimer may bind to DR3-type VDRE and ER9-type VDREs of its target gene directly resulting in transactivation and also bind to DR3-liked nVDRE of its target gene directly resulting in transrepression. Except for this, 1α,25(OH)2
ligand VDR-RXR may bind to 1αnVDRE indirectly through VDIR, resulting in transrepression of the target gene. Upon binding of 1α,25(OH)2
, VDR can transactivate and transrepress its target genes depending on the DNA motif that DBD binds.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited