The emerging role of the RNA-binding protein SFPQ in neuronal function and neurodegeneration Academic Article uri icon


  • RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) are a class of proteins known for their diverse roles in RNA biogenesis, from regulating transcriptional processes in the nucleus to facilitating translation in the cytoplasm. With higher demand for RNA metabolism in the nervous system, RBP misregulation has been linked to a wide range of neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. One of the emerging RBPs implicated in neuronal function and neurodegeneration is splicing factor proline- and glutamine-rich (SFPQ). SFPQ is a ubiquitous and abundant RBP that plays multiple regulatory roles in the nucleus such as paraspeckle formation, DNA damage repair, and various transcriptional regulation processes. An increasing number of studies have demonstrated the nuclear and also cytoplasmic roles of SFPQ in neurons, particularly in post-transcriptional regulation and RNA granule formation. Not surprisingly, the misregulation of SFPQ has been linked to pathological features shown by other neurodegenerative disease-associated RBPs such as aberrant RNA splicing, cytoplasmic mislocalization, and aggregation. In this review, we discuss recent findings on the roles of SFPQ with a particular focus on those in neuronal development and homeostasis as well as its implications in neurodegenerative diseases.

publication date

  • September 28, 2020