The Vitamin D3 Synthesis Pathway

    Research output: Non-textual formWeb publication/site


    With the development of post-genomics, system biology becomes popular. Understanding biology at a system level requires the cooperation of various fields, including computer science, biology, mathematics, physics, etc. Setting up basic methods to study system biology will contribute greatly to it. The first step of studying system biology is to structure biological systems accurately. One application of it is biological pathways, which uses networks to present reactions and interactions of biological systems.This project used SBGN, which is a standard language that uses different styles of notations to describe biological pathways, to construct a vitamin D3 pathway map. Vitamin D3, whose precursor is 7-DHC, plays a significant role in human health. People can get Vitamin D3 by exposure to sunlight and having food (e.g. fish and meat). Many clinical diseases are related to vitamin D3. For instance, some people suffer from lack of vitamin D3, although they have proper diet and exercise. Also, it is proved that vitamin D3 can be helpful to protect skin from skin cancer. Thus, in order to find new treatments and new drugs to cure these diseases, it is necessary to study the biochemical reactions involved in vitamin D3 pathway. Based on literature and databases, the vitamin D3 pathway was separated into four minor pathways: C-24 oxidation pathway, C-23 oxidation pathway, P450scc pathway and C-3 epimerization pathway. Key enzymes, CYP11A1, CYP24A1, CYP27A1 and CYP27B1, were studied. Tables were established to explain the functions of these enzymes. As the vitamin D3 pathway is linked to cholesterol pathway, presenting vitamin D3 pathway also benefits the study of cholesterol pathway. Further studies integrating the vitamin D3 pathway into a cholesterol pathway can help scientists to understand a cholesterol pathway better. These pathways will improve the pharmaceutical and medical studies of vitamin D3 and cholesterol.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 20 Dec 2012


    • sbgn
    • cholesterol
    • vitamin d


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