The widespread availability of genetic testing for those with neurodevelopmental disorders has highlighted the importance of many genes necessary for the proper development and function of the nervous system. One gene found to be genetically altered in the X-linked intellectual disability disorder Claes-Jensen syndrome is KDM5C, which encodes a histone demethylase that regulates transcription by altering chromatin. While the genetic link between KDM5C and cognitive (dys)function is clear, how KDM5C functions to control transcriptional programs within neurons to impact their growth and activity remains the subject of ongoing research. Here we review our current knowledge of Claes-Jensen syndrome and discuss important new data using model organisms that have revealed the importance of KDM5C in regulating aspects of neuronal development and function. Continued research into the molecular and cellular activities regulated by KDM5C is expected to provide critical etiological insights into Claes-Jensen syndrome and highlight potential targets for developing therapies to improve the quality of life of those affected.
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