Steroid hormones may enter cells by diffusion through the plasma membrane. However, we demonstrate here that some steroid hormones are taken up by receptor-mediated endocytosis of steroid-carrier complexes. We show that 25-(OH) vitamin D3 in complex with its plasma carrier, the vitamin D- binding protein, is filtered through the glomerulus and reabsorbed in the proximal tubules by the endocytic receptor megalin. Endocytosis is required to preserve 25-(OH) vitamin D3 and to deliver to the cells the precursor for generation of 1,25-(OH)2 vitamin D3, a regulator of the calcium metabolism. Megalin(-/-) mice are unable to retrieve the steroid from the glomerular filtrate and develop vitamin D deficiency and bone disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)