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

The oxygenase Jmjd6--a case study in conflicting assignments.

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*Department of Biology II, Ludwig Maximillians University, Munich, Germany.
†Chemistry Research Laboratory and Oxford Centre for Integrative Systems Biology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
‡Institute of Molecular Toxicology and Pharmacology, Helmholtz Zentrum München-German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany.


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.

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