The protein encoded by this gene is a lysine-specific demethylase that specifically demethylates di-or tri-methylated lysine 27 of histone H3 (H3K27me2 or H3K27me3). H3K27 trimethylation is a repressive epigenetic mark controlling chromatin organization and gene silencing. This protein can also demethylate non-histone proteins such as retinoblastoma protein. Through its demethylation actvity this gene influences cellular differentiation and development, tumorigenesis, inflammatory diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. This protein has two classical nuclear localization signals at its N-terminus. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms.