Posted on Dec 18, 2012, 6 a.m.
Vitamin D may help to battle cancers, by blocking cell growth and slowing the progression of pre-malignant tumors to malignancy.
Previous studies have established that Vitamin D signaling regulates cell proliferation and differentiation, and a number of epidemiological data suggest that it functions as a cancer chemopreventive agent. John White, from McGill University (Canada), and colleagues studied the ability of Vitamin D signaling to suppress expression of genes regulated by c-MYC, a transcription factor that controls epidermal differentiation and cell proliferation and whose activity is frequently elevated in cancer, in a laboratory model. The team showed that hormonal 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25D) and the vitamin D receptor (VDR) profoundly alter, through multiple mechanisms, the balance in function of c-MYC. It also enhanced MXD1 expression and stability, thereby dramatically altering ratios of DNA-bound c-MYC and MXD1. Noting this capacity to suppress cMYC function, the study authors submit that their findings: "[provide] a molecular basis for cancer preventive actions of vitamin D.”
Salehi-Tabar R, Nguyen-Yamamoto L, Tavera-Mendoza LE, Quail T, Dimitrov V, An BS, Glass L, Goltzman D, White JH. “Vitamin D receptor as a master regulator of the c-MYC/MXD1 network.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Nov 13;109(46):18827-32.