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How Vitamin D Could Help Advance Development Of New Treatments For Metabolic Disorders And Cancer

Update Date: Feb 05, 2017 07:18 PM EST

A recent discovery made by researchers from Kyoto University has identified how vitamin D could help advance the development of new treatments for metabolic disorders and certain types of cancer. The research investigated a key process exhibit by one of the components of vitamin D in lipid production.

According to researchers from Kyoto University, a component of vitamin D helps control and maintain the balance of lipids in the body. The component known as 25-0HD is a vitamin D metabolite that can control a protein that regulates lipid production. This is the first time that the vitamin D metabolite 25-OHD was shown to display its inhibition of the sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs).

The research, published in Cell Chemical Biology, details how the researchers stumbled upon the vitamin D metabolite 25-OHD while screening an extensive chemical library of endogenous molecules to look for inhibitors of SREBPs. As such, the researchers discovered that 25-OHD, a hydroxylated vitamin D metabolite, can inhibit SREBPs. It has long been known that there is an association between 25-OHD and lipid production. However, the 25-hydroxyvitamin D has always been regarded as biologically inactive.

The research was able to document how 25-OHD catalyzes the breakdown of SCAP, a cleavage-activating protein, that is required for SREBP activation. The vitamin D metabolite was shown to further degrade SCAP into smaller amino acids.

Both SREBP and SCAP are proteins known to have roles in lipid production in the body. By further understanding the role of 25-OHD with the SREBP-SCAP interaction, medical scientists can develop possible new drugs that target metabolic disorders and certain types of cancer. Moreover, by understanding the role of the vitamin D metabolite in lipid production, new treatments can be developed to control lipid production.

Vitamin D deficiency is an increasing health concern. Vitamin D deficiency is due to the lack of vitamin D intake or exposure to sunlight and is associated with several bone diseases like rickets and osteoporosis. In addition, vitamin D deficiency is linked to the increase risks of developing metabolic disorders and certain types of cancer.

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