Antiproliferative activity of non-calcemic vitamin D analogs on human melanoma lines in relation to VDR and PDIA3 receptors

Academic Article


  • Vitamin D is a precursor for secosteroidal hormones, which demonstrate pleiotropic biological activities, including the regulation of growth and the differentiation of normal and malignant cells. Our previous studies have indicated that the inhibition of melanoma proliferation by a short side-chain, low calcemic analog of vitamin D—21(OH)pD is not fully dependent on the expression of vitamin D receptor (VDR). We have examined the effects of classic vitamin D metabolites, 1,25(OH)2 D3 and 25(OH)D3, and two low calcemic vitamin D analogs, (21(OH)pD and calcipotriol), on proliferation, mRNA expression and vitamin D receptor (VDR) translocation in three human melanoma cell lines: WM98, A375 and SK-MEL-188b (subline b of SK-MEL-188, which lost responsiveness to 1,25(OH)2 D3 and became VDR−/− CYP27B1−/−). All tested compounds efficiently inhibited the proliferation of WM98 and A375 melanoma cells except SK-MEL-188b, in which only the short side-chain vitamin D analog—21(OH)pD was effective. Overall, 21(OH)pD was the most potent compound in all three melanoma cell lines in the study. The lack of responsiveness of SK-MEL-188b to 1,25(OH)2 D3, 25(OH)D3 and calcipotriol is explained by a lack of characteristic transcripts for the VDR, its splicing variants as well as for vitamin D-activating enzyme CYP27B1. On the other hand, the expression of VDR and its splicing variants and other vitamin D related genes (RXR, PDIA3, CYP3A4, CYP2R1, CYP27B1, CYP24A1 and CYP11A1) was detected in WM98 and A375 melanomas with the transcript levels being modulated by vitamin D analogs. The expression of VDR isoforms in WM98 cells was stimulated strongly by calcipotriol. The antiproliferative activities of 21(OH)pD appear not to require VDR translocation to the nucleus, which explains the high efficacy of this noncalcemic pregnacalciferol analog in SK-MEL-188b melanoma, that is, VDR−/−. Therefore, we propose that 21(OH)pD is a good candidate for melanoma therapy, although the mechanism of its action remains to be defined.
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    Author List

  • Wasiewicz T; Piotrowska A; Wierzbicka J; Slominski AT; Zmijewski MA
  • Volume

  • 19
  • Issue

  • 9