Molecular biology of the cell

RNA polymerase II progression through H3K27me3-enriched gene bodies requires JMJD3 histone demethylase.

PMID 23243002


JMJD3 H3K27me3 demethylase plays an important role in the transcriptional response to different signaling pathways; however, the mechanism by which it facilitates transcription has been unclear. Here we show that JMJD3 regulates transcription of transforming growth factor β (TGFβ)-responsive genes by promoting RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) progression along the gene bodies. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing experiments, we show that, upon TGFβ treatment, JMJD3 and elongating RNAPII colocalize extensively along the intragenic regions of TGFβ target genes. According to these data, genome-wide analysis shows that JMJD3-dependent TGFβ target genes are enriched in H3K27me3 before TGFβ signaling pathway activation. Further molecular analyses demonstrate that JMJD3 demethylates H3K27me3 along the gene bodies, paving the way for the RNAPII progression. Overall these findings uncover the mechanism by which JMJD3 facilitates transcriptional activation.