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PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e51407. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051407. Epub 2012 Dec 7.

Histone demethylase Jumonji D3 (JMJD3) as a tumor suppressor by regulating p53 protein nuclear stabilization.

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Neuro-Oncology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America.


Histone methylation regulates normal stem cell fate decisions through a coordinated interplay between histone methyltransferases and demethylases at lineage specific genes. Malignant transformation is associated with aberrant accumulation of repressive histone modifications, such as polycomb mediated histone 3 lysine 27 (H3K27me3) resulting in a histone methylation mediated block to differentiation. The relevance, however, of histone demethylases in cancer remains less clear. We report that JMJD3, a H3K27me3 demethylase, is induced during differentiation of glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs), where it promotes a differentiation-like phenotype via chromatin dependent (INK4A/ARF locus activation) and chromatin independent (nuclear p53 protein stabilization) mechanisms. Our findings indicate that deregulation of JMJD3 may contribute to gliomagenesis via inhibition of the p53 pathway resulting in a block to terminal differentiation.

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