Gene expression is epigenetically regulated through DNA methylation and covalent chromatin modifications, such as acetylation, phosphorylation, ubiquitination, sumoylation, and methylation of histones. Histone methylation state is dynamically regulated by different groups of histone methyltransferases and demethylases. The trimethylation of histone 3 (H3K4) at lysine 4 is usually associated with the activation of gene expression, whereas trimethylation of histone 3 at lysine 27 (H3K27) is associated with the repression of gene expression. The polycomb repressive complex contains the H3K27 methyltransferase Ezh2 and controls dimethylation and trimethylation of H3K27 (H3K27me2/3). The Jumonji domain containing-3 (Jmjd3, KDM6B) and ubiquitously transcribed X-chromosome tetratricopeptide repeat protein (UTX, KDM6A) have been identified as H3K27 demethylases that catalyze the demethylation of H3K27me2/3. The role and mechanisms of both JMJD3 and UTX have been extensively studied for their involvement in development, cell plasticity, immune system, neurodegenerative disease, and cancer. In this review, we will focus on recent progresses made on understanding JMJD3 in the regulation of gene expression in development and diseases. This article is part of a Directed Issue entitled: Epigenetics dynamics in development and disease.
Keywords: H3K27; Histone demethylation; Jmjd3; Jumonji; Utx.
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