Active vitamin D potentiates the anti-neoplastic effects of calcium in the colon: A cross talk through the calcium-sensing receptor.
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2015 Mar 7. Epub 2015 Mar 7. PMID: 25758239
Epidemiological studies suggest an inverse correlation between dietary calcium (Ca(2+)) and vitamin D intake and the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). It has been shown in vitro that the active vitamin D metabolite, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25-D3) can upregulate expression of the calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR). In the colon, CaSR has been suggested to regulate proliferation of colonocytes. However, during tumorigenesis colonic CaSR expression is downregulated and we hypothesized that the loss of CaSR could influence the anti-tumorigenic effects of Ca(2+) and vitamin D. Our aim was to assess the impact of CaSR expression and function on the anti-neoplastic effects of 1,25-D3 in colon cancer cell lines. We demonstrated that in the healthy colon of mice, high vitamin D diet (2500IU/kg diet) increased expression of differentiation and apoptosis markers, decreased expression of proliferation markers and significantly upregulated CaSR mRNA expression, compared with low vitamin D diet (100IU/kg diet). To determine the role of CaSR in this process, we transfected Caco2-15 and HT29 CRC cells with wild type CaSR (CaSR-WT) or a dominant negative CaSR mutant (CaSR-DN) and treated them with 1,25-D3 alone, or in combination with CaSR activators (Ca(2+) and NPS R-568). 1,25-D3 enhanced the anti-proliferative effects of Ca(2+) and induced differentiation and apoptosis only in cells with a functional CaSR, which were further enhanced in the presence of NPS R-568, a positive allosteric modulator of CaSR. The mutant CaSR inhibited the anti-tumorigenic effects of 1,25-D3 suggesting that the anti-neoplastic effects of 1,25-D3 are, at least in part, mediated by the CaSR. Taken together, our data provides molecular evidence to support the epidemiological observation that both, vitamin D and calcium are needed for protection against malignant transformation of the colon and that their effect is modulated by the presence of a functional CaSR. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled '17th Vitamin D Workshop'.