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Publication Date



UM campus only

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology (Medicine)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Gennaro D'Urso

Second Committee Member

Izidore Lossos

Third Committee Member

Arun Malhotra

Fourth Committee Member

Kerry L. Burnstein

Fifth Committee Member

Michael Lu


1,25-(OH)2 vitamin D3 inhibits cell proliferation of a variety of cancers including prostate. In the human prostate cancer cell line LNCaP, 1,25-(OH)2 vitamin D3-mediated growth inhibition is attributed to cell cycle G1 accumulation which correlates with a robust decrease of cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) activity and pronounced relocalization of CDK2 into the cytoplasm. Nuclear targeting CDK2 blocks the 1,25-(OH)2 vitamin D3-mediated growth inhibition and cell cycle G1 accumulation. Further, the nuclear targeted CDK2 blocks 1,25-(OH)2 vitamin D3-mediated inhibition of CDK2 activity and nuclear exclusion in LNCaP cells. Therefore, CDK2 cytoplasmic relocalization is the key mechanism for 1,25-(OH)2 vitamin D3 effects. Since cyclin E is important for CDK2 nuclear localization and activation, 1,25-(OH)2 vitamin D3 may exert its effects through regulation of cyclin E. Cyclin E but not a cyclin E mutant deficient in CDK2 binding reverses 1,25-(OH)2 vitamin D3-mediated antiproliferation which suggests the involvement of cyclin E as a mechanism. However, the studies showed no effects of 1,25-(OH)2 vitamin D3 on cyclin E levels, intracellular localization or binding to CDK2. In order to develop a model for studying 1,25-(OH)2 vitamin D3-mediated antiproliferative effects, LNCaP vitD.R cell line, a vitamin D resistant LNCaP derivative, was generated by continuously culturing of LNCaP cells in medium supplemented with 10 nM 1,25-(OH)2 vitamin D3 for over 9 months. The initial characterization of this cell line showed complete resistance to 1,25-(OH)2 vitamin D3-mediated effects. Analysis of vitamin D regulation of VDR target gene expression revealed that vitamin D resistance in LNCaP vitD.R cells was not due to deregulation of VDR signaling. HDAC inhibitor Trichostatin A (TSA) did not confer sensitivity of LNCaP vitD.R cells to vitamin D treatment suggested the resistance to 1,25(OH)2 vitamin D3 effect of LNCaP vitD.R cells is not due to histone deacetylase remodeling of the chromatin structure which leads to inhibition of gene transcription. While the partial sensitization of LNCaP vitD.R cells to 1,25(OH)2 vitamin D3 effect by demethylation reagent 5-Aza-2¡¯-deoxycytidine treatment suggested a set of genes involved in 1,25(OH)2 vitamin D3-mediated antiproliferative effects is silenced via hypermethylation in LNCaP vitD.R cells. These results suggested LNCaP vitD. R cell line is a useful tool and further studies to elucidate the genes involved in this effect will help uncover the mechanisms of 1,25(OH)2 vitamin D3-mediated antiproliferative effects.


Antiproliferation; Prostate Cancer; Vitamin D; Resistance; Cyclin E; CDK2; Cytoplasmic Relocalization