AIM: The effects of vitamin D3 have been investigated on various tumors, including colorectal cancer (CRC). 25-hydroxyvitamin-D3-24-hydroxylase (CYP24A1), the enzyme that inactivates the active vitamin D3 metabolite 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25-D3), is considered to be the main enzyme determining the biological half-life of 1,25-D3. During colorectal carcinogenesis, the expression and concentration of CYP24A1 increases significantly, suggesting that this phenomenon could be responsible for the proposed efficacy of 1,25-D3 in the treatment of CRC. The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-tumor effects of vitamin D3 on the human CRC cell line Caco-2 after inhibition of the cytochrome P450 component of CYP24A1 activity. METHODS: We examined the expression of CYP24A1 mRNA and the effects of 1,25-D3 on the cell line Caco-2 after inhibition of CYP24A1. Cell viability and proliferation were determined by means of sulforhoda-mine-B staining and bromodeoxyuridine incorporation, respectively, while cytotoxicity was estimated via the lactate dehydrogenase content of the cell culture supernatant. CYP24A1 expression was measured by realtime reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. A number of tetralone compounds were synthesized to investigate their CP24A1 inhibitory activity. RESULTS: In response to 1,25-D3, CYP24A1 mRNA expression was enhanced significantly, in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Caco-2 cell viability and proliferation were not influenced by the administration of 1,25-D3 alone, but were markedly reduced by co-administration of 1,25-D3 and KD-35, a CYP24A1-inhib-iting tetralone. Our data suggest that the mechanism of action of co-administered KD-35 and 1,25-D3 does not involve a direct cytotoxic effect, but rather the inhibition of cell proliferation. CONCLUSION: These findings demonstrate that the selective inhibition of CYP24A1 by compounds such as KD-35 may be a new approach for enhancement of the anti-tumor effect of 1,25-D3 on CRC.
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