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Epithelial Cell Biol. 1992 Apr;1(2):70-5.

Vitamin D3, its receptor and regulation of epidermal keratin gene expression.

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Department of Dermatology, NYU Medical Center, NY 10016.


Among extrinsic modulators of keratinization are certain hormones and vitamins, which makes them potentially important pharmacological tools for treatment of keratinization disorders. Vitamin D3 and vitamin A, and their metabolites, promote and inhibit keratinization, respectively. We have shown that retinoic acid, via its nuclear receptor, directly suppresses the expression of the keratin genes which are markers of keratinocyte differentiation. Here we present evidence that 1,25(OH)2 vitamin D3 and its nuclear receptor do not directly regulate keratin gene expression. Co-transfection of a vector expressing the nuclear receptor for vitamin D3 with responder DNA constructs containing keratin gene promoters had no effect on the level of activity of keratin gene promoters either in the presence or in the absence of vitamin D3. We conclude that vitamin D3, unlike retinoic acid, modifies keratin synthesis indirectly, by changing the differentiation phenotype of the keratinocyte.

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