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Cell Res. 2010 Mar;20(3):276-87. doi: 10.1038/cr.2010.12. Epub 2010 Jan 26.

AOF1 is a histone H3K4 demethylase possessing demethylase activity-independent repression function.

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The Institute of Biomedical Sciences and School of Life Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China.

Erratum in

  • Cell Res. 2010 Jul;20(7):858. Stewart, David M [corrected to Stewart, M David].


LSD1 (KDM1 under the new nomenclature) was the first identified lysine-specific histone demethylase belonging to the flavin-dependent amine oxidase family. Here, we report that AOF1 (KDM1B under the new nomenclature), a mammalian protein related to LSD1, also possesses histone demethylase activity with specificity for H3K4me1 and H3K4me2. Like LSD1, the highly conserved SWIRM domain is required for its enzymatic activity. However, AOF1 differs from LSD1 in several aspects. First, AOF1 does not appear to form stable protein complexes containing histone deacetylases. Second, AOF1 is found to localize to chromosomes during the mitotic phase of the cell cycle, whereas LSD1 does not. Third, AOF1 represses transcription when tethered to DNA and this repression activity is independent of its demethylase activity. Structural and functional analyses identified its unique N-terminal Zf-CW domain as essential for the demethylase activity-independent repression function. Collectively, our study identifies AOF1 as the second histone demethylase in the family of flavin-dependent amine oxidases and reveals a demethylase-independent repression function of AOF1.

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