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Record Information
Creation Date2009-07-21 20:26:10 UTC
Update Date2014-12-24 20:25:49 UTC
Accession NumberT3D2697
Common NameErgocalciferol
ClassSmall Molecule
DescriptionErgocalciferol is a form of Vitamin D, also called vitamin D2. It is created from viosterol, which in turn is created when ultraviolet light activates ergosterol. Ergocalciferol is used in the treatment of hypcalcemia and in dialysis-dependent renal failure. Ergoalcifediol is a fat soluble steroid hormone precursor of vitamin D that contributes to the maintenance of normal levels of calcium and phosphorus in the bloodstream. Vitamin D2 is the form of vitamin D most commonly added to foods and nutritional supplements. Vitamin D2 must be transformed (hydroxylated) into one of two active forms via the liver or kidney. Once transformed, it binds to the vitamin D receptor that then leads to a variety of regulatory roles.
Compound Type
  • Antihypocalcemic Agent
  • Antihypoparathyroid Agent
  • Antithyroid Agent
  • Bone Density Conservation Agent
  • Drug
  • Essential Vitamin
  • Food Toxin
  • Household Toxin
  • Metabolite
  • Natural Compound
  • Nutraceutical
  • Organic Compound
  • Vitamin
  • Vitamin D
Chemical Structure
(+)-Vitamin D2
22-Tetraen 3beta 9,10,Secoergosta-5,7,10(19)-ol
Activated ergosterol
Calciferon 2
Davitamon D
De-rat concentrate
Divit urto
Ergocalciferol oil
Ergosterol activated
Ergosterol irradiated
Irradiated ergosta-5,7,22-trien-3beta-ol
Mina D2
Oleovitamin D
Oleovitamin D2
Rodine C
Shock-ferol sterogyl
Synthetic Vitamin D
Uvesterol D
Vio D
Viosterol in Oil
Vitamin D2
Vitamina D2
Chemical FormulaC28H44O
Average Molecular Mass396.648 g/mol
Monoisotopic Mass396.339 g/mol
CAS Registry Number50-14-6
IUPAC Name(1S,3Z)-3-{2-[(1R,3aS,4E,7aR)-1-[(2R,3E,5R)-5,6-dimethylhept-3-en-2-yl]-7a-methyl-octahydro-1H-inden-4-ylidene]ethylidene}-4-methylidenecyclohexan-1-ol
Traditional Nameergocalciferol
InChI IdentifierInChI=1S/C28H44O/c1-19(2)20(3)9-10-22(5)26-15-16-27-23(8-7-17-28(26,27)6)12-13-24-18-25(29)14-11-21(24)4/h9-10,12-13,19-20,22,25-27,29H,4,7-8,11,14-18H2,1-3,5-6H3/b10-9+,23-12+,24-13-/t20-,22+,25-,26+,27-,28+/m0/s1
Chemical Taxonomy
Description belongs to the class of organic compounds known as vitamin d and derivatives. Vitamin D and derivatives are compounds containing a secosteroid backbone, usually secoergostane or secocholestane.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassLipids and lipid-like molecules
ClassSteroids and steroid derivatives
Sub ClassVitamin D and derivatives
Direct ParentVitamin D and derivatives
Alternative Parents
  • Triterpenoid
  • Cyclic alcohol
  • Secondary alcohol
  • Organic oxygen compound
  • Hydrocarbon derivative
  • Organooxygen compound
  • Alcohol
  • Aliphatic homopolycyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAliphatic homopolycyclic compounds
External Descriptors
Biological Properties
StatusDetected and Not Quantified
Cellular Locations
  • Cytoplasm
  • Extracellular
  • Membrane
  • Mitochondria
Biofluid LocationsNot Available
Tissue Locations
  • Adipose Tissue
  • Bladder
  • Brain
  • Fibroblasts
  • Gonads
  • Intestine
  • Kidney
  • Liver
  • Muscle
  • Nerve Cells
  • Pancreas
  • Placenta
  • Prostate
  • Skeletal Muscle
  • Skin
  • Spleen
PathwaysNot Available
Biological Roles
Chemical RolesNot Available
Physical Properties
AppearanceWhite powder.
Experimental Properties
Melting Point116.5°C
Boiling PointNot Available
Solubility50 mg/L
Predicted Properties
Water Solubility0.00043 g/LALOGPS
pKa (Strongest Acidic)18.38ChemAxon
pKa (Strongest Basic)-1.3ChemAxon
Physiological Charge0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count1ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count1ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area20.23 ŲChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count5ChemAxon
Refractivity128.89 m³·mol⁻¹ChemAxon
Polarizability50.72 ųChemAxon
Number of Rings3ChemAxon
Rule of FiveYesChemAxon
Ghose FilterYesChemAxon
Veber's RuleYesChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleYesChemAxon
Spectrum TypeDescriptionSplash KeyView
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - GC-MS (1 TMS)splash10-003u-3911000000-dba9e396497310b31715JSpectraViewer | MoNA
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - GC-MS (Non-derivatized)splash10-003u-3911000000-dba9e396497310b31715JSpectraViewer | MoNA
Predicted GC-MSPredicted GC-MS Spectrum - GC-MS (Non-derivatized) - 70eV, Positivesplash10-0f89-3019000000-8a847f6179b3a364ad05JSpectraViewer
Predicted GC-MSPredicted GC-MS Spectrum - GC-MS (1 TMS) - 70eV, Positivesplash10-0udl-4103900000-4c6f376ae6706d7e8556JSpectraViewer
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Quattro_QQQ 10V, Positive (Annotated)splash10-0002-0129000000-77bd32807ec8ea97183bJSpectraViewer | MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Quattro_QQQ 25V, Positive (Annotated)splash10-0601-5902000000-ae4a4363ac10f9f0feb7JSpectraViewer | MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Quattro_QQQ 40V, Positive (Annotated)splash10-05mo-9800000000-1ea9f4fa17117a9e6515JSpectraViewer | MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - LC-ESI-QTOF (UPLC Q-Tof Premier, Waters) , Positivesplash10-01ot-9801000000-17d2120d47f9c718ea95JSpectraViewer | MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - LC-ESI-QTOF , positivesplash10-01ot-9801000000-c10341d61ee2d6369219JSpectraViewer | MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Positivesplash10-004j-1129000000-41a3f60b47798eb6bd6cJSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Positivesplash10-05ai-4694000000-95577608302dfef840b4JSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Positivesplash10-0gx9-9464000000-f7bcbdb6e805513cd661JSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Negativesplash10-0002-0009000000-819b52cfd84baf07f550JSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Negativesplash10-0002-0009000000-5ed8b1f535a88d73555cJSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Negativesplash10-004i-3249000000-bf201c27d3bc67289adbJSpectraViewer
1D NMR1H NMR SpectrumNot AvailableJSpectraViewer
2D NMR[1H,13C] 2D NMR SpectrumNot AvailableJSpectraViewer
Toxicity Profile
Route of ExposureOral, readily absorbed.
Mechanism of ToxicityVitamin D2 is the form of vitamin D most commonly added to foods and nutritional supplements. Vitamin D2 must be transformed (hydroxylated) into one of two active forms via the liver or kidney. Once transformed, it binds to the vitamin D receptor that then leads to a variety of regulatory roles. Vitamin D plays an important role in maintaining calcium balance and in the regulation of parathyroid hormone (PTH). It promotes renal reabsorption of calcium, increases intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and increases calcium and phosphorus mobilization from bone to plasma. Vitamin D2 and its analogs appear to promote intestinal absorption of calcium through binding to a specific receptor in the mucosal cytoplasm of the intestine. Subsequently, calcium is absorbed through formation of a calcium-binding protein. Activated ergocalciferol increases serum calcium and phosphate concentrations, primarily by increasing intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphate through binding to a specific receptor in the mucosal cytoplasm of the intestine. Subsequently, calcium is absorbed through formation of a calcium-binding protein. 25-hydroxyergocalciferol is the intermediary metabolite of ergocalciferol. Although this metabolite exhibits 2-5 times more activity than unactivated ergocalciferol in curing rickets and inducing calcium absorption and mobilization (from bone) in animals, this increased activity is still insufficient to affect these functions at physiologic concentrations. Activated ergocalciferol stimulate resorption of bone and are required for normal mineralization of bone. Physiological doses of ergocalciferol also promotes calcium reabsorption by the kidneys, but the significance of this effect is not known.
MetabolismWithin the liver, ergocalciferol is hydroxylated to ercalcidiol (25-hydroxyergocalciferol) by the enzyme 25-hydroxylase. Within the kidney, ercalcidiol serves as a substrate for 1-alpha-hydroxylase, yielding ercalcitriol (1,25-dihydroxyergocalciferol), the biologically active form of vitamin D2. Half Life: 19 to 48 hours (however, stored in fat deposits in body for prolonged periods).
Toxicity ValuesLD50 = 23.7 mg/kg (Orally in mice); LD50 = 10 mg/kg (Orally in rats ).
Lethal DoseNot Available
Carcinogenicity (IARC Classification)No indication of carcinogenicity to humans (not listed by IARC).
Uses/SourcesFor use in the management of hypocalcemia and its clinical manifestations in patients with hypoparathyroidism, as well as for the treatment of familial hypophosphatemia (vitamin D resistant rickets). This drug has also been used in the treatment of nutritional rickets or osteomalacia, vitamin D dependent rickets, rickets or osteomalacia secondary to long-term high dose anticonvulsant therapy, early renal osteodystrophy, osteoporosis (in conjunction with calcium), and hypophosphatemia associated with Fanconi syndrome (with treatment of acidosis).
Minimum Risk LevelNot Available
Health EffectsNot Available
SymptomsNausea, vomiting and diarrhea, weight loss, irritability, weakness, fatigue, lassitude, and headache.
TreatmentThe treatment of hypervitaminosis D with hypercalcemia consists in immediate withdrawal of the vitamin, a low calcium diet, generous intake of fluids, along with symptomatic and supportive treatment. Hypercalcemic crisis with dehydration, stupor, coma, and azotemia requires more vigorous treatment. The first step should be hydration of the patient. Intravenous saline may quickly and significantly increase urinary calcium excretion. A loop diuretic (furosemide or ethacrynic acid) may be given with the saline infusion to further increase renal calcium excretion. Other reported therapeutic measures include dialysis or the administration of citrates, sulfates, phosphates, corticosteroids, EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid), and mithramycin via appropriate regimens. (23)
Normal Concentrations
Not Available
Abnormal Concentrations
Not Available
DrugBank IDDB00153
PubChem Compound ID5280793
ChemSpider ID4444351
UniProt IDNot Available
ChEBI ID28934
CTD IDNot Available
Stitch IDErgocalciferol
Wikipedia LinkErgocalciferol
Synthesis Reference

Charles W. Bishop, Glenville Jones, Ronald L. Horst, Nicholas J. Koszewski, Joyce C. Knutson, Raju Penmasta, Robert M. Moriarty, Stephen Strugnell, Timothy A. Reinhardt, Liang Guo, Sanjay K. Singhal, Lei Zhao, “Methods for preparation and use of 1A,24(S)-dihydroxy vitamin D2.” U.S. Patent US5789397, issued March, 1992.

General References
  1. DeLuca HF: Overview of general physiologic features and functions of vitamin D. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Dec;80(6 Suppl):1689S-96S. [15585789 ]
  2. Samanek AJ, Croager EJ, Gies P, Milne E, Prince R, McMichael AJ, Lucas RM, Slevin T: Estimates of beneficial and harmful sun exposure times during the year for major Australian population centres. Med J Aust. 2006 Apr 3;184(7):338-41. [16584368 ]
  3. Shepard RM, Horst RL, Hamstra AJ, DeLuca HF: Determination of vitamin D and its metabolites in plasma from normal and anephric man. Biochem J. 1979 Jul 15;182(1):55-69. [227368 ]
  4. Bischoff HA, Borchers M, Gudat F, Duermueller U, Theiler R, Stahelin HB, Dick W: In situ detection of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 receptor in human skeletal muscle tissue. Histochem J. 2001 Jan;33(1):19-24. [11352397 ]
  5. Jorde R, Saleh F, Figenschau Y, Kamycheva E, Haug E, Sundsfjord J: Serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels in smokers and non-smokers. The fifth Tromso study. Eur J Endocrinol. 2005 Jan;152(1):39-45. [15762185 ]
  6. Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Borchers M, Gudat F, Durmuller U, Stahelin HB, Dick W: Vitamin D receptor expression in human muscle tissue decreases with age. J Bone Miner Res. 2004 Feb;19(2):265-9. [14969396 ]
  7. Young MV, Schwartz GG, Wang L, Jamieson DP, Whitlatch LW, Flanagan JN, Lokeshwar BL, Holick MF, Chen TC: The prostate 25-hydroxyvitamin D-1 alpha-hydroxylase is not influenced by parathyroid hormone and calcium: implications for prostate cancer chemoprevention by vitamin D. Carcinogenesis. 2004 Jun;25(6):967-71. Epub 2004 Jan 16. [14729578 ]
  8. Jones G, Strugnell SA, DeLuca HF: Current understanding of the molecular actions of vitamin D. Physiol Rev. 1998 Oct;78(4):1193-231. [9790574 ]
  9. Langman CB, Brooks ER: Renal osteodystrophy in children: a systemic disease associated with cardiovascular manifestations. Growth Horm IGF Res. 2006 Jul;16 Suppl A:S79-83. Epub 2006 Apr 18. [16624609 ]
  10. Reginster JY: The high prevalence of inadequate serum vitamin D levels and implications for bone health. Curr Med Res Opin. 2005 Apr;21(4):579-86. [15899107 ]
  11. Tuohimaa P, Tenkanen L, Ahonen M, Lumme S, Jellum E, Hallmans G, Stattin P, Harvei S, Hakulinen T, Luostarinen T, Dillner J, Lehtinen M, Hakama M: Both high and low levels of blood vitamin D are associated with a higher prostate cancer risk: a longitudinal, nested case-control study in the Nordic countries. Int J Cancer. 2004 Jan 1;108(1):104-8. [14618623 ]
  12. Malloy PJ, Xu R, Peng L, Clark PA, Feldman D: A novel mutation in helix 12 of the vitamin D receptor impairs coactivator interaction and causes hereditary 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D-resistant rickets without alopecia. Mol Endocrinol. 2002 Nov;16(11):2538-46. [12403843 ]
  13. Boyle MP, Noschese ML, Watts SL, Davis ME, Stenner SE, Lechtzin N: Failure of high-dose ergocalciferol to correct vitamin D deficiency in adults with cystic fibrosis. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2005 Jul 15;172(2):212-7. Epub 2005 Apr 28. [15860755 ]
  14. Salle BL, Delvin EE, Lapillonne A, Bishop NJ, Glorieux FH: Perinatal metabolism of vitamin D. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 May;71(5 Suppl):1317S-24S. [10799409 ]
  15. Bai S, Favus MJ: Vitamin D and calcium receptors: links to hypercalciuria. Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2006 Jul;15(4):381-5. [16775452 ]
  16. Vieth R: The role of vitamin D in the prevention of osteoporosis. Ann Med. 2005;37(4):278-85. [16019727 ]
  17. Robinson DM, Scott LJ: Spotlight on paricalcitol in secondary hyperparathyroidism. Treat Endocrinol. 2005;4(3):185-6. [15898824 ]
  18. Bouillon R, Verstuyf A, Zhao J, Tan BK, Van Baelen H: Nonhypercalcemic vitamin D analogs: interactions with the vitamin D-binding protein. Horm Res. 1996;45(3-5):117-21. [8964569 ]
  19. Moreira RO, Duarte MP, Farias ML: [Disturbances of calcium-PTH-vitamin D axis in chronic liver diseases]. Arq Bras Endocrinol Metabol. 2004 Aug;48(4):443-50. Epub 2005 Mar 7. [15761507 ]
  20. Shah N, Bernardini J, Piraino B: Prevalence and correction of 25(OH) vitamin D deficiency in peritoneal dialysis patients. Perit Dial Int. 2005 Jul-Aug;25(4):362-6. [16022093 ]
  21. Makishima M, Lu TT, Xie W, Whitfield GK, Domoto H, Evans RM, Haussler MR, Mangelsdorf DJ: Vitamin D receptor as an intestinal bile acid sensor. Science. 2002 May 17;296(5571):1313-6. [12016314 ]
  22. [Link]
  23. RxList: The Internet Drug Index (2009). [Link]
Gene Regulation
Up-Regulated GenesNot Available
Down-Regulated GenesNot Available


General Function:
Iron ion binding
Specific Function:
Catalyzes the conversion of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D) to 1-alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D) plays an important role in normal bone growth, calcium metabolism, and tissue differentiation.
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular Weight:
56503.475 Da
  1. Turunen MM, Dunlop TW, Carlberg C, Vaisanen S: Selective use of multiple vitamin D response elements underlies the 1 alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3-mediated negative regulation of the human CYP27B1 gene. Nucleic Acids Res. 2007;35(8):2734-47. Epub 2007 Apr 10. [17426122 ]
  2. Jiang W, Miyamoto T, Kakizawa T, Nishio SI, Oiwa A, Takeda T, Suzuki S, Hashizume K: Inhibition of LXRalpha signaling by vitamin D receptor: possible role of VDR in bile acid synthesis. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Dec 8;351(1):176-84. Epub 2006 Oct 19. [17054913 ]
  3. Li QP, Qi X, Pramanik R, Pohl NM, Loesch M, Chen G: Stress-induced c-Jun-dependent Vitamin D receptor (VDR) activation dissects the non-classical VDR pathway from the classical VDR activity. J Biol Chem. 2007 Jan 19;282(3):1544-51. Epub 2006 Nov 22. [17121851 ]
  4. Mikhak B, Hunter DJ, Spiegelman D, Platz EA, Hollis BW, Giovannucci E: Vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene polymorphisms and haplotypes, interactions with plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, and prostate cancer risk. Prostate. 2007 Jun 15;67(9):911-23. [17440943 ]
  5. Marks HD, Fleet JC, Peleg S: Transgenic expression of the human Vitamin D receptor (hVDR) in the duodenum of VDR-null mice attenuates the age-dependent decline in calcium absorption. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2007 Mar;103(3-5):513-6. Epub 2007 Jan 5. [17207992 ]
General Function:
Zinc ion binding
Specific Function:
Nuclear hormone receptor. Transcription factor that mediates the action of vitamin D3 by controlling the expression of hormone sensitive genes. Recruited to promoters via its interaction with BAZ1B/WSTF which mediates the interaction with acetylated histones, an essential step for VDR-promoter association. Plays a central role in calcium homeostasis.
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular Weight:
48288.64 Da
  1. Carvallo L, Henriquez B, Olate J, van Wijnen AJ, Lian JB, Stein GS, Onate S, Stein JL, Montecino M: The 1alpha,25-dihydroxy Vitamin D3 receptor preferentially recruits the coactivator SRC-1 during up-regulation of the osteocalcin gene. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2007 Mar;103(3-5):420-4. Epub 2007 Jan 10. [17218095 ]
  2. Liu W, Tretiakova M, Kong J, Turkyilmaz M, Li YC, Krausz T: Expression of vitamin D3 receptor in kidney tumors. Hum Pathol. 2006 Oct;37(10):1268-78. Epub 2006 Jul 27. [16949927 ]
  3. Ewing AK, Attner M, Chakravarti D: Novel regulatory role for human Acf1 in transcriptional repression of vitamin D3 receptor-regulated genes. Mol Endocrinol. 2007 Aug;21(8):1791-806. Epub 2007 May 22. [17519354 ]
General Function:
Vitamin d3 25-hydroxylase activity
Specific Function:
Has a D-25-hydroxylase activity on both forms of vitamin D, vitamin D(2) and D(3).
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular Weight:
57358.82 Da
  1. Ramos-Lopez E, Bruck P, Jansen T, Pfeilschifter JM, Radeke HH, Badenhoop K: CYP2R1-, CYP27B1- and CYP24-mRNA expression in German type 1 diabetes patients. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2007 Mar;103(3-5):807-10. Epub 2007 Jan 16. [17223345 ]
  2. Ramos-Lopez E, Bruck P, Jansen T, Herwig J, Badenhoop K: CYP2R1 (vitamin D 25-hydroxylase) gene is associated with susceptibility to type 1 diabetes and vitamin D levels in Germans. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2007 Nov;23(8):631-6. [17607662 ]
General Function:
Zinc ion binding
Specific Function:
Nuclear receptor that binds and is activated by variety of endogenous and xenobiotic compounds. Transcription factor that activates the transcription of multiple genes involved in the metabolism and secretion of potentially harmful xenobiotics, drugs and endogenous compounds. Activated by the antibiotic rifampicin and various plant metabolites, such as hyperforin, guggulipid, colupulone, and isoflavones. Response to specific ligands is species-specific. Activated by naturally occurring steroids, such as pregnenolone and progesterone. Binds to a response element in the promoters of the CYP3A4 and ABCB1/MDR1 genes.
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular Weight:
49761.245 Da
Binding/Activity Constants
TypeValueAssay TypeAssay Source
AC505.20 uMATG_PXR_TRANSAttagene
AC505.85 uMATG_PXRE_CISAttagene
AC509.06 uMNVS_NR_hPXRNovascreen
  1. Sipes NS, Martin MT, Kothiya P, Reif DM, Judson RS, Richard AM, Houck KA, Dix DJ, Kavlock RJ, Knudsen TB: Profiling 976 ToxCast chemicals across 331 enzymatic and receptor signaling assays. Chem Res Toxicol. 2013 Jun 17;26(6):878-95. doi: 10.1021/tx400021f. Epub 2013 May 16. [23611293 ]