Role of FET proteins in neurodegenerative disorders.RNA Biol. 2016 Nov; 13(11):1089-1102.RB
Neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer disease (AD), frontotemporal dementia (FTD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), and multiple sclerosis (MS) affect different neuronal cells, and have a variable age of onset, clinical symptoms, and pathological features. Despite the great progress in understanding the etiology of these disorders, the underlying mechanisms remain largely unclear. Among the processes affected in neurodegenerative diseases, alteration in RNA metabolism is emerging as a crucial player. RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) are involved at all stages of RNA metabolism and display a broad range of functions, including modulation of mRNA transcription, splicing, editing, export, stability, translation and localization and miRNA biogenesis, thus enormously impacting regulation of gene expression. On the other hand, aberrant regulation of RBP expression or activity can contribute to disease onset and progression. Recent reports identified mutations causative of neurological disorders in the genes encoding a family of RBPs named FET (FUS/TLS, EWS and TAF15). This review summarizes recent works documenting the involvement of FET proteins in the pathology of ALS, FTLD, essential tremor (ET) and other neurodegenerative diseases. Moreover, clinical implications of recent advances in FET research are critically discussed.