VDR Gene Description:
The VDR gene provides instructions for making a protein called vitamin D receptor (VDR), which allows the body to respond to vitamin D. This vitamin can be acquired from foods in the diet or made in the body with help from sunlight exposure. Vitamin D is involved in maintaining the proper balance of several minerals in the body, including calcium and phosphate, which are essential for the normal formation of bones and teeth. One of vitamin D’s major roles is to control the absorption of calcium and phosphate from the intestines into the bloodstream. Vitamin D is also involved in several processes unrelated to bone and tooth formation.
The VDR protein attaches (binds) to the active form of vitamin D, known as calcitriol. This interaction allows VDR to partner with another protein called retinoid X receptor (RXR). The resulting complex then binds to particular regions of DNA, known as vitamin D response elements, and regulates the activity of vitamin D-responsive genes. By turning these genes on or off, the complex helps control calcium and phosphate absorption and other processes.
Although the mechanism is not completely understood, the VDR protein is also involved in hair growth. Studies suggest that this process does not require calcitriol binding.
Genetic Lifehacks articles that include VDR variants (SNPs):
Debbie Moon is the founder of Genetic Lifehacks. Fascinated by the connections between genes, diet, and health, her goal is to help you understand how to apply genetics to your diet and lifestyle decisions. Debbie has a BS in engineering and also an MSc in biological sciences from Clemson University. Debbie combines an engineering mindset with a biological systems approach to help you understand how genetic differences impact your optimal health.