Background: Jumonji-domain containing 3 (JMJD3) affects transcriptional regulation by demethylating lysine 27 residue of histone 3. We investigated its function and prognostic significance in colorectal cancer (CRC). Methods: The influence of JMJD3 on cell proliferation was assessed using quantitative RT-PCR and western blot on the downstream target gene of JMJD3, in knock-down (KD) experiments and clinical samples from 151 CRC patients. Results: Cells with KD JMJD3 significantly increased proliferation through cell cycle progression and apoptosis suppression. Expression of P15INK4B was remarkably decreased in KD JMJD3 cells; and JMJD3 expression strongly correlated with p15INK4B expression in clinical CRC samples (P < 0.001, r = 0.566). Low JMJD3 also was an independent predictor of poor prognosis (P = 0.042) in surgically resected CRC patients. Conclusions: JMJD3 has prognostic significance in CRC and mediates p15INK4B expression. These results imply that elucidation of the JMJD3 role may lead to a new therapeutic approach for CRC patients.
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