• 16-ene-23-yne;
  • CYP27B1;
  • CYP24A1;


The potency of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3) is increased by several fold through its metabolism into 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1α,25(OH)2D3) by cytochrome P450 27B1 (CYP27B1). Thus, the pivotal role of 1α-hydroxylation in the activation of vitamin D compounds is well known. Here, we examined the metabolism of 25-hydroxy-16-ene-23-yne-vitamin D3 (25(OH)-16-ene-23-yne-D3), a synthetic analog of 25(OH)D3 in a cell-free system and demonstrated that 25(OH)-16-ene-23-yne-D3 is neither activated by CYP27B1 nor inactivated by cytochrome P450 24A1 (CYP24A1). These findings were also confirmed in immortalized normal human prostate epithelial cells (PZ-HPV-7) which are known to express both CYP27B1 and CYP24A1, indicating that the structural modifications featured in 25(OH)-16-ene-23-yne-D3 enable the analog to resist the actions of both CYP27B1 and CYP24A1. To provide intelligible structure-function information, we also performed molecular docking analysis between the analog and CYP27B1. Furthermore, 25(OH)-16-ene-23-yne-D3 was found to suppress the growth of PZ-HPV-7 cells with a potency equivalent to 1α,25(OH)2D3. The antiproliferative activity of 25(OH)-16-ene-23-yne-D3 was found to be vitamin D receptor (VDR)-dependent as it failed to inhibit the growth of mammary tumor cells derived from VDR-knockout mice. Furthermore, stable introduction of VDR into VDR-knockout cells restored the growth inhibition by 25(OH)-16-ene-23-yne-D3. Thus, we identified 25-hydroxy-16-ene-23-yne-vitamin D3 as a novel non-1α-hydroxylated vitamin D analog which is equipotent to 1α,25(OH)2D3 in its antiproliferative activity. We now propose that the low potency of the intrinsic VDR-mediated activities of 25(OH)D3 can be augmented to the level of 1α,25(OH)2D3 without its activation through 1α-hydroxylation by CYP27B1, but by simply preventing its inactivation by CYP24A1. J. Cell. Biochem. 115: 1392–1402, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.