Characterization and Transcriptional Activity of a Vitamin D Receptor Ortholog in the Ascidian Halocynthia roretzi

멍게(Halocynthia roretzi) 비타민 D 수용체 상동체 동정 및 전사활성

Lee, Jung Hwan;Sohn, Young Chang

  • Received : 2015.11.13
  • Accepted : 2015.12.21
  • Published : 2015.12.31


In vertebrates, the vitamin D receptor (VDR), a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily, binds the biologically active ligand $1{\alpha},25-(OH)_2$-vitamin $D_3$ (1,25 $D_3$). Nearly all vertebrates, including Agnatha, possess a VDR with high ligand selectivity for 1,25 $D_3$ and related metabolites. Although a putative ancestral VDR gene is present in the genome of the chordate invertebrate Ciona intestinalis, the functional characteristics of marine invertebrate VDR are still obscure. To elucidate the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi VDR (HrVDR), we cloned full-length HrVDR cDNA and investigated the transcriptional activity of HrVDR in HEK293 cells. HrVDR consists of 1,680 nucleotides (559 amino acids [aa]), including a short N-terminal region (A/B domain; 26 aa), DNA-binding domain (C domain; 72 aa), hinge region (D domain; 272 aa), and C-terminal ligand-binding domain (E domain; 161 aa). The amino acid sequence identity of HrVDR was greatest to that of C. intestinalis VDR (56%). In the luciferase reporter assays, the transcriptional activity of HrVDR was not significantly increased by 1,25 $D_3$, whereas the farnesoid X receptor agonist GW4064 increased the transactivation of HrVDR. These results suggest the presence of a novel ligand for and a distinct ligand-binding domain in ascidian VDR.


cDNA;Tunicate;Vitamin D receptor;Vitamin D responsive reporter gene;Halocynthia roretzi


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