Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name



Nutrition and Food Science

First Advisor

Ahmad R. Heydari


Vitamin D3 treatment has long been considered in the treatment of cancer due to its well-documented anti-proliferative effects in vitro. While clinical studies have been positive in other cancers, results are inconclusive in cases of basal cell carcinoma. To better understand the reasons underlying this disconnect, this study employs an immortalized human keratinocyte cell line (HaCaT) to observe the effects of vitamin D3 treatment on cellular proliferation. The results show that both activate vitamin D3 (calcitriol) and its precursor (cholecalciferol) increase proliferation of these cells. Real-time PCR and western blot data indicate that the mTOR pathway becomes activated despite increased VDR signaling and expression of REDD1. Treatment was also unable to inhibit the Hedgehog signaling pathway.

Included in

Nutrition Commons