Vitamin D and microRNAs in bone

Thomas S Lisse, John S Adams, Martin Hewison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short noncoding RNAs that orchestrate complex posttranscriptional regulatory networks essential to the regulation of gene expression. Through complementarity with messenger RNA (mRNA) sequences, miRNAs act primarily to silence gene expression through either degradation or inhibited translation of target transcripts. In this way, miRNAs can act to fine-tune the transcriptional regulation of gene expression, but they may also play distinct roles in the proliferation, differentiation, and function of specific cell types. miRNA regulatory networks may be particularly important for signaling molecules such as vitamin D that exert pleiotropic effects on tissues throughout the body. The active form of vitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D) functions as a steroid hormone that, when bound to its nuclear vitamin D receptor, is able to regulate target gene expression. However, recent studies have also implicated 1,25(OH)2D in epigenetic regulation of genes most notably as a modulator of miRNA function. The current review details our understanding of vitamin D and miRNAs with specific emphasis on the implications of this interaction for biological responses to vitamin D in one of its classical target tissues, i.e., bone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-214
Number of pages20
JournalCritical Reviews in Eukaryotic Gene Expression
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Animals
  • Bone and Bones
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs
  • Osteoblasts
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Calcitriol
  • Signal Transduction
  • Vitamin D


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