Several reports have appeared that suggest that 24,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol has a possible biological role in bone formation. We have utilized competition studies, saturation analysis, sucrose-density-gradient sedimentation and DEAE-cellulose chromatography to demonstrate that long bones of vitamin D-depleted newborn rats contain cytoplasmic and possibly nuclear receptors that bind 24,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol with specificity and high affinity (Kd = 1.79 nM). Sucrose-density-gradient analysis of the cytoplasmic 24,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol-binding component showed a single binding macromolecule for 24,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol with a sedimentation coefficient of 3.1 S. DEAE-cellulose chromatography showed a [3H]24,25, dihydroxycholecalciferol-macromolecular complex that binds to DEAE-cellulose and elutes between 0.15 and 0.21 M-KCl. The finding of 24,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol receptors in long bones of newborn rats suggests a possible involvement of 24,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol in the metabolism of developing skeletal tissues.

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