RNA Biol 2010 Jul-Aug;7(4):420-9. Epub 2010 Jul 1.
International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Trieste, Italy.
Heterogeneous ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs) are multifunctional RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) involved in many cellular processes. They participate in most gene expression pathways, from DNA replication and repair to mRNA translation. Among this class of proteins, TDP-43 (and more recently FUS/TLS) have received considerable attention due to their involvement in several neurodegenerative diseases. This finding has prompted many research groups to focus on the gene expression pathways that are regulated by these proteins. The results have uncovered a considerable complexity of TDP-43 and FUS/TLS functions due to the many independent mechanisms by which they may act to influence various cellular processes (such as DNA transcription, pre-mRNA splicing, mRNA export/import). The aim of this chapter will be to review especially some of the novel functions that have been uncovered, such as role in miRNA synthesis, regulation of transcript levels, and potential autoregulatory mechanisms in order to provide the basis for further investigations.