Vitamin D metabolism (WP1531)

Photochemical synthesis of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol, D3) occurs cutaneously where pro-vitamin D3 (7-dehydrocholesterol) is converted to pre-vitamin D3 (pre-D3) in response to ultraviolet B (sunlight) exposure. DHCR7 encodes the enzyme 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) reductase, which converts 7-DHC to cholesterol, thereby removing the substrate from the synthetic pathway of vitamin D3, a precursor of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3.The finding that common variants at DHCR7 are strongly associated with circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations suggests that this enzyme could have a larger role in regulation of vitamin D status than has previously been recognised. Vitamin D3, obtained from the isomerization of pre-vitamin D3 in the epidermal basal layers or intestinal absorption of natural and fortified foods and supplements, binds to vitamin D-binding protein (DBP) in the bloodstream, and is transported to the liver. D3 is hydroxylated by liver 25-hydroxylases (25-OHase). The resultant 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25(OH)D3) is 1-hydroxylated in the kidney by 25-hydroxyvitamin D3-1 -hydroxylase (1-OHase). This yields the active secosteroid 1 ,25(OH)2D3 (calcitriol), which has different effects on various target tissues. The synthesis of 1,25(OH)2D3 from 25(OH)D3 is stimulated by parathyroid hormone (PTH) and suppressed by Ca2+, Pi and 1,25(OH)2D3 itself. The rate-limiting step in catabolism is the degradation of 25(OH)D3 and 1,25(OH)2D3 to 24,25(OH)D3 and 1,24,25(OH)2D3, respectively,which occurs through 24-hydroxylation by 25-hydroxyvitamin D 24-hydroxylase (24-OHase), encoded by the CYP24A1 gene. 24,25(OH)D3 and 1,24,25(OH)2D3 are consequently excreted. Vitamin D activity is mediated through binding of 1,25(OH)2D3 to the vitamin D receptor (VDR), which can regulate transcription of other genes involved in cell regulation, growth, and immunity. VDR modulates the expression of genes by forming a heterodimer complex with retinoid-X-receptors (RXR). Proteins on this pathway have targeted assays available via the [ CPTAC Assay Portal].
last edited


Evelo, Lribeiro, Khanspers, AlexanderPico, MartijnVanIersel, MaintBot, Ddigles, Egonw, Mkutmon, Artoria2e5, DeSl, and Eweitz

Cited In


Homo sapiens


Micronutrients Renal Genomics Pathways


Pathway Ontology: vitamin D metabolic pathway metabolic pathway of cofactors, vitamins, nutrients

Disease Ontology: rickets osteomalacia

Cell Type Ontology: hepatocyte skin fibroblast kidney cell


Label Type Compact Identifier
Inactive24,25-OH-vitamin D Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0000430
RXRA GeneProduct ncbigene:6256
Calcidiol Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0003550
Calcidiol Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0003550
Parathyroid hormone GeneProduct ncbigene:5741
Previtamin D3 Metabolite chebi:8403
Calcitriol Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0001903
CYP2R1 GeneProduct ncbigene:120227
Pi Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0001429
DHCR7 GeneProduct ncbigene:1717
CYP27A1 GeneProduct ncbigene:1593
Vitamin D binding protein GeneProduct ncbigene:2638
alpha-globulin GeneProduct None
RXRB GeneProduct ncbigene:6257
VDR GeneProduct ncbigene:7421
Cholecalciferol Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0000876
Cholesterol Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0000067
CYP24A1 GeneProduct ncbigene:1591
CYP27B1 GeneProduct ncbigene:1594
Vitamin D binding protein Protein uniprot:P02774
7-Dehydro-cholesterol Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0000032
Ca Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0000464


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