Advances in histone demethylase KDM4 as cancer therapeutic targets

Dong Hoon Lee, Go Woon Kim, Yu Hyun Jeon, Jung Yoo, Sang Wu Lee, So Hee Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


The KDM4 subfamily H3K9 histone demethylases are epigenetic regulators that control chromatin structure and gene expression by demethylating histone H3K9, H3K36, and H1.4K26. The KDM4 subfamily mainly consists of four proteins (KDM4A-D), all harboring the Jumonji C domain (JmjC) but with differential substrate specificities. KDM4A-C proteins also possess the double PHD and Tudor domains, whereas KDM4D lacks these domains. KDM4 proteins are overexpressed or deregulated in multiple cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and mental retardation and are thus potential therapeutic targets. Despite extensive efforts, however, there are very few KDM4-selective inhibitors. Defining the exact physiological and oncogenic functions of KDM4 demethylase will provide the foundation for the discovery of novel potent inhibitors. In this review, we focus on recent studies highlighting the oncogenic functions of KDM4s and the interplay between KDM4-mediated epigenetic and metabolic pathways in cancer. We also review currently available KDM4 inhibitors and discuss their potential as therapeutic agents for cancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3461-3484
Number of pages24
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2016R1D1A1A02937071, 2018R1A6A1A03023718, 2019R1A2C1008619, and 2019R1I1A1A01058601).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Advances in histone demethylase KDM4 as cancer therapeutic targets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this