Meiyan Sun* and Bin Guo* Pages 888 - 897 ( 10 )
Vitamin D is an important hormone that regulates many physiological processes related to human health. Through its nuclear receptor, VDR, vitamin D controls gene expression through genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. Increasing data have demonstrated the anti-cancer activities of vitamin D in various cancers, including colon cancer. This review summarizes the recent progresses in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of vitamin D and its interaction with the epigenetic machinery in colon cancer. Vitamin D changes the status of DNA methylation and histone modifications, resulting in the activation of tumor suppressors and inhibition of oncogenes. In addition, vitamin D activates the expression of tumor suppressing miRNAs, which contribute to the tumor suppressive activity. Further understanding of the epigenetic action of vitamin D will help the development of therapeutic strategies targeting the vitamin D signaling pathway without inducing the hypercalcemic side effects.
Vitamin D, epigenetics, microRNA, DNA methylation, histone methylation, chemotherapy.
Department of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77030, Department of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77030