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Epigenomics. 2010 Jun;2(3):407-18. doi: 10.2217/epi.10.12.

Role of H3K4 demethylases in complex neurodevelopmental diseases.

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  • 1McMaster Stem Cell & Cancer Institute, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario L8N 3Z5 Canada.


Significant neurological disorders can result from subtle perturbations of gene regulation that are often linked to epigenetic regulation. Proteins that regulate the methylation of lysine 4 of histone H3 (H3K4) and play a central role in epigenetic regulation, and mutations in genes encoding these enzymes have been identified in both autism and Rett syndrome. The H3K4 demethylases remove methyl groups from lysine 4 leading to loss of RNA polymerase binding and transcriptional repression. When these proteins are mutated, brain development is altered. Currently, little is known regarding how these gene regulators function at the genomic level. In this article, we will discuss findings that link H3K4 demethylases to neurodevelopment and neurological disease.

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