The oxygenase Jmjd6--a case study in conflicting assignments

Biochem J. 2015 Jun 1;468(2):191-202. doi: 10.1042/BJ20150278.


The Jumonji domain-containing protein 6 (Jmjd6) is a member of the superfamily of non-haem iron(II) and 2-oxoglutarate (2OG)-dependent oxygenases; it plays an important developmental role in higher animals. Jmjd6 was initially assigned a role as the phosphatidylserine receptor responsible for engulfment of apoptotic cells but this now seems unlikely. Jmjd6 has been shown to be a nuclear localized protein with a JmjC domain comprising a distorted double-stranded β-helical structure characteristic of the 2OG-dependent oxygenases. Jmjd6 was subsequently assigned a role in catalysing N-methyl-arginine residue demethylation on the N-terminus of the human histones H3 and H4; however, this function is also subject to conflicting reports. Jmjd6 does catalyse 2OG-dependent C-5 hydroxylation of lysine residues in mRNA splicing-regulatory proteins and histones; there is also accumulating evidence that Jmjd6 plays a role in splicing (potentially in an iron- and oxygen-dependent manner) as well as in other processes regulating gene expression, including transcriptional pause release. Moreover, a link with tumour progression has been suggested. In the present review we look at biochemical, structural and cellular work on Jmjd6, highlighting areas of controversy and consensus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Cell Physiological Phenomena*
  • Humans
  • Jumonji Domain-Containing Histone Demethylases / chemistry*
  • Jumonji Domain-Containing Histone Demethylases / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • JMJD6 protein, human
  • Jumonji Domain-Containing Histone Demethylases