UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Vitamin D in Melanoma: Potential Role of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes Ben-Eltriki, Mohamed; Gayle, Erysa J.; Paras, Jhoanne M.; Nyame-Addo, Louisa; Chhabra, Manik; Deb, Subrata


Vitamin D is a promising anticancer agent for the prevention and treatment of several cancers, including melanoma. Low 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels, a routinely used marker for vitamin D, have been suggested as one of the factors in the development and progression of melanoma. The parent vitamin D needs activation by cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes to exert its actions via the vitamin D receptor (VDR). This review discusses the role of vitamin D in melanoma and how CYP-mediated metabolism can potentially affect the actions of vitamin D. Through interacting with the retinoid X receptor, VDR signaling leads to anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and anticancer actions. Calcitriol, the dihydroxylated form of vitamin D₃, is the most active and potent ligand of VDR. CYP27A1, CYP27B1, and CYP2R1 are involved in the activation of vitamin D, whereas CYP24A1 and CYP3A4 are responsible for the degradation of the active vitamin D. CYP24A1, the primary catabolic enzyme of calcitriol, is overexpressed in melanoma tissues and cells. Several drug classes and natural health products can modulate vitamin D-related CYP enzymes and eventually cause lower levels of vitamin D and its active metabolites in tissues. Although the role of vitamin D in the development of melanoma is yet to be fully elucidated, it has been proposed that melanoma prevention may be significantly aided by increased vitamin D signaling. Furthermore, selective targeting of the catabolic enzymes responsible for vitamin D degradation could be a plausible strategy in melanoma therapy. Vitamin D signaling can be improved by utilizing dietary supplements or by modulating CYP metabolism. A positive association exists between the intake of vitamin D supplements and improved prognosis for melanoma patients. Further investigation is required to determine the function of vitamin D supplementation and specific enzyme targeting in the prevention of melanoma.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


CC BY 4.0