Sabine Seuter, Antonio Neme and Carsten Carlberg
The physiological functions of vitamin D are mediated by its metabolite 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3) activating the transcription factor vitamin D receptor (VDR). The chromatin-organizing protein CTCF bound to 14% of the 1,25(OH)2D3-sensitive chromatin regions. Interestingly, 1,25(OH)2D3affected the chromatin association of CTCF providing an additional mechanism for the epigenome-wide effects of the VDR ligand. The 1,25(OH)2D3-modulated transcriptome of THP-1 cells comprised 1284 genes, 77.5% of which responded only 24 h after stimulation. During the 1,25(OH)2D3 stimulation time course the proportion of down-regulated genes increased from 0% to 44.9% and the top-ranking physiological function of the respective genes shifted from anti-microbial response to connective tissue disorders. The integration of epigenomic and transcriptomic data identified 165 physiologically important 1,25(OH)2D3target genes, including HTT and NOD2, whose expression can be predicted primarily from epigenomic data of their genomic loci. Taken together, a large number of 1,25(OH)2D3-triggered epigenome-wide events precede and accompany the transcriptional activation of target genes of the nuclear hormone.