The vitamin D receptor, inflammatory bowel diseases, and colon cancer

Rong Lu, Shaoping Wu, Yinglin Xia, Jun Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The nuclear receptor is an emerging therapeutic target in various human diseases. Vitamin D receptor (VDR), a nuclear receptor, mediates the biological functions of vitamin D. Classically, vitamin D is recognized as an essential contributor to mineral and bone homeostasis. Increasing evidence demonstrates that vitamin D is involved in inflammatory responses. Persistent intestinal inflammation is associated with colon cancer. This review focuses on vitamin D and VDR in inflammatory bowel diseases and colon cancer. We place emphasis on the regulatory roles of vitamin D/VDR in inflammation, enteric bacteria, and tumorigenesis. We summarize the signaling pathways regulated by VDR in intestinal homeosta-sis. Finally, we discuss the potential application of the insights gleaned from these findings to personalized therapies in chronic inflammation and colon cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-65
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Colorectal Cancer Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (DK075386-0251, R03DK089010-01), the American Cancer Society (RSG-09-075-01-MBC), and the IDEAL award from Empire State Stem Cell Board (N09G-279) to Jun Sun.


  • Colon cancer
  • Enteric bacteria
  • Gut flora
  • IBD
  • Inflammation
  • Microbiome
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Nuclear receptor
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin D receptor


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