Catalytic properties of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 3-epimerase in rat and human liver microsomes

Robert C. Tuckey, Edith K.Y. Tang, Stephanie R. Maresse, Derek S. Delaney

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10 Citations (Web of Science)


25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 3-epimerase catalyzes the 3β → 3α epimerization of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3) producing 3-epi-25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (3-epi-25(OH)D3). 3-Epi-25(OH)D3 is one of the most abundant forms of vitamin D present in the serum. It can be converted to 3-epi-1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 by CYP27B1 which generally displays lower biological activity than 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH) 2 D3). The 25(OH)D3 3-epimerase has been poorly characterized to date and the gene encoding it has not been identified. The 3-epimerase has been reported to be present in the microsomal fraction of cells, including liver cells, and to use NADPH as cofactor. It can also act on 1,25(OH) 2 D3 and 24,25(OH) 2 D3 forming the 3α-epimers. In this study we have characterized the activity of the 25(OH)D3 3-epimerase in rat and human liver microsomes, using 25(OH)D3 as substrate and HPLC to analyze product formation. For both rat and human liver microsomes the preferred cofactor was NADH, with the rat enzyme displaying a 6-fold greater catalytic efficiency (V max /K m ) for NADH over that for NADPH. No activity was observed with oxidized cofactor, either NAD + or NADP + . This was unexpected since the initial step in the epimerization, predicted to be the oxidation of the 3β-OH to a ketone, would require oxidized cofactor. The rat 3-epimerase in microsomes gave a K m for 25(OH)D3 of 14 μM. The reverse reaction, conversion of 3-epi-25(OH)D3 to 25(OH)D3, was catalyzed by both rat and human liver microsomes but at lower rates than the forward reaction. In conclusion, both rat and human 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 3-epimerase catalyze the reversible interconversion of 25(OH)D3 and 3-epi-25(OH)D3, and use NADH as the preferred cofactor. The lack of requirement for exogenous NAD + suggests that the enzyme has a tightly bound NAD + in its active site that is released only upon its reduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-21
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2019


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