View the slide viewer

Have questions about this assay kit?

Human VDR Reporter Assay Kit

1 x-96 well format assays
3 x-32 assays in-96 well format
1 x-384 well format assays
1 x-96 well format assays
3 x-32 assays in-96 well format
1 x-384 well format assays

Product Description and Product Data

This is an all-inclusive cell-based luciferase reporter assay kit targeting the Human Vitamin D Receptor (VDR). INDIGO’s VDR reporter assay utilizes proprietary mammalian cells that have been engineered to provide constitutive expression of the VDR. In addition to VDR Reporter Cells, this kit provides two optimized media for use during cell culture and in diluting the user’s test samples, a reference agonist, Luciferase Detection Reagent, and a cell culture-ready assay plate. The principal application of this assay is in the screening of test samples to quantify any functional activity, either agonist or antagonist, that they may exert against human VDR. This kit provides researchers with clear, reproducible results, exceptional cell viability post-thaw, and consistent results lot to lot. Kits must be stored at -80C. Do not store in liquid nitrogen. Note: reporter cells cannot be refrozen or maintained in extended culture.


  • Clear, Reproducible Results

  • All-Inclusive Assay Systems
  • Exceptional Cell Viability Post-Thaw
  • Consistent Results Lot to Lot

Product Specifications

Target TypeNuclear Hormone Receptor
Receptor FormHybrid
Assay ModeAgonist, Antagonist
Kit Components
  • VDR Reporter Cells
  • Cell Recovery Medium (CRM)
  • Compound Screening Medium (CSM)
  • Calcitriol, (ref. agonist; in DMSO)
  • Detection Substrate
  • Detection Buffer
  • White, sterile, cell-culture ready assay plate
Shelf Life6 months
Orthologs AvailableNo
Shipping RequirementsDry Ice
Storage temperature-80C


Agonist dose-response analyses of Human VDR. Agonist analyses of VDR Reporter Cells using Calcitriol (provided), Calcipotriol (Cayman Chemical), Ercalcitriol, EB1089, and Doxercalciferol (each from Tocris). In addition, to assess the level of background signal contributed by non-specific factors that may cause activation of the luciferase reporter gene, “mock” reporter cells were treated with calcitriol (mock reporter cells, which contain only the luciferase vector, are not provided with assay kits). Final assay concentrations for ligand-treated cells ranged from 10,000 nM to 38 pM for Doxercalciferol, and 800 nM to 50 pM for all others. Luminescence was quantified using a GloMax-Multi+ luminometer (Promega). Average relative light units (RLU) and corresponding standard deviation (SD) values were determined for each treatment concentration (n ≥ 6). Fold-activation and Z’ values were calculated as described by Zhang, et al. (1999). Non-linear regression and EC50 analyses were performed using GraphPad Prism software. Mock reporter cells demonstrate no significant background luminescence (< 0.02% that of the reporter cells at ECMax of calcitriol). Thus, luminescence results strictly through ligand-activation of VDR expressed in these reporter cells. High Z' scores confirm the robust performance of this assay, and it's suitability for HTS.

Target Background

INDIGO’s Human Vitamin D Receptor Assay utilizes proprietary Human cells engineered to provide high-level expression of Human VDR (also known as NR1I1). Reporter Cells also incorporate a luciferase reporter gene. Quantifying expressed luciferase activity at the assay endpoint provides a sensitive surrogate measure of changes in VDR activity in treated cells. The principle application of this reporter assay system is in the screening of test samples to quantify functional activity, either agonist or antagonist, that may exert against the Human VDR.

The calcitriol receptor, also known as the vitamin D receptor (VDR) is a member of the nuclear receptor family of transcription factors. Upon activation by vitamin D, the VDR forms a heterodimer with the retinoid-X receptor and binds to hormone response elements on DNA resulting in expression or transrepression of specific gene products. Glucocorticoids are known to decrease expression of VDR which is expressed in most tissues of the body and regulate intestinal transport of calcium. This gene encodes the nuclear hormone receptor for vitamin D3. This receptor also functions as a receptor for the secondary bile acid lithocholic acid. The receptor belongs to the family of trans-acting transcriptional regulatory factors and shows similarity of sequence to the steroid and thyroid hormone receptors. Downstream targets of this nuclear hormone receptor are principally involved in mineral metabolism though the receptor regulates a variety of other metabolic pathways, such as those involved in the immune response and cancer. Mutations in this gene are associated with type II vitamin D-resistant rickets. A single nucleotide polymorphism in the initiation codon results in an alternate translation start site three codons downstream. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants encoding the same protein.


Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCPP) is an organophosphate flame retardant. The primary TDCPP metabolite, bis(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (BDCPP), is detectable in the urine of over 90 % of Americans. Epidemiological studies show sex-specific associations between urinary BDCPP levels and metabolic syndrome, which is an established risk factor for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. We used a mouse model to determine whether TDCPP exposure disrupts glucose homeostasis. Six-week old male and female C57BL/6J mice were given ad libitum access to diets containing vehicle (0.1 % DMSO) and TDCPP resulting in the following treatment groups: 0 mg/kg/day, 0.02 mg/kg/day, 1 mg/kg/day, or 100 mg/kg/day. After being on the experimental diet for five weeks without interruption, body composition was analyzed, glucose and insulin tolerance tests were performed, and fasting glucose and insulin levels were quantified. TDCPP at 100 mg/kg/day caused male sex-specific adiposity, fasting hyperglycemia, and insulin resistance. TDCPP-induced modulation of nuclear receptor activation was investigated using an in vitro screen to identify potential mechanisms of metabolic disruption. TDCPP activated farnesoid X receptor (FXR) and pregnane X receptor (PXR), and inhibited the androgen receptor (AR). PXR target genes, but not FXR target genes, were upregulated in livers from mice exposed to 100 mg TDCPP/kg/day. Interestingly, PXR target genes were differentially expressed in livers from both males and females. It remains to be determined whether TDCPP-induced metabolic disruption occurs via modulation of nuclear receptor activity. Taken together, these studies build upon the association of TDCPP exposure and metabolic syndrome in humans by identifying sex-specific effects of TDCPP on glucose homeostasis in mice.
In spite of possessing desirable anticancer properties, currently, limited clinical success has been achieved with 20(S)-protopanaxadiol (aPPD) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (calcitriol). This study is designed to evaluate if the combination of aPPD with calcitriol can inhibit human prostate cancer xenograft growth by using nuclear receptor signaling. Athymic male nude mice were utilized to establish an androgen-independent human prostate cancer C4-2 cell castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) xenograft model. Mice were treated orally for six weeks with 70 mg/kg aPPD administered once daily or three times per week with 4 µg/kg calcitriol or in combination or only with vehicle control. Contrary to our expectations, calcitriol treatment alone increased C4-2 tumor growth. However, the addition of calcitriol substantially increased aPPD-mediated tumor growth suppression (76% vs. 53%, combination vs. aPPD alone). The combination treatment significantly increased levels of cleaved caspase-3 apoptotic marker compared to vehicle-treated or aPPD-treated C4-2 tumors. The mechanistic elucidations indicate that tumor inhibition by the aPPD and calcitriol combination was accompanied by elevated vitamin D receptor (VDR) protein expression. In silico data suggest that aPPD weakly binds to the native LBD pocket of VDR. Interestingly, the combination of aPPD and calcitriol activated VDR at a significantly higher level than calcitriol alone and this indicates that aPPD may be an allosteric activator of VDR. Overall, aPPD and calcitriol combination significantly inhibited tumor growth in vivo with no acute or chronic toxic effects in the C4-2 xenograft CRPC nude mice. The involvement of VDR and downstream apoptotic pathways are potential mechanistic routes of antitumor effects of this combination.

Also available as a service

Vitamin D Receptor (VDR, NR1I1)

Have questions about this assay kit?