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PQBP1 gene

polyglutamine binding protein 1

Normal Function

The PQBP1 gene provides instructions for making a protein called polyglutamine-binding protein 1. This protein attaches (binds) to stretches of multiple copies of a protein building block (amino acid) called glutamine in certain other proteins.

While the specific function of polyglutamine-binding protein 1 is not well understood, it is believed to play a role in processing and transporting RNA, a chemical cousin of DNA that serves as the genetic blueprint for the production of proteins.

In nerve cells (neurons) such as those in the brain, polyglutamine-binding protein 1 is found in structures called RNA granules. These granules allow the transport and storage of RNA within the cell. The RNA is held within the granules until the genetic information it carries is translated to produce proteins or until cellular signals or environmental factors trigger the RNA to be degraded. Through these mechanisms, polyglutamine-binding protein 1 is thought to help control the way genetic information is used (gene expression) in neurons. This control is important for normal brain development.

Health Conditions Related to Genetic Changes

Renpenning syndrome

At least 14 PQBP1 gene mutations have been identified in people with Renpenning syndrome, a disorder that occurs almost exclusively in males and causes intellectual disability and characteristic physical features. Most of the PQBP1 gene mutations that cause Renpenning syndrome result in an abnormally short polyglutamine-binding protein 1. The function of a shortened or otherwise abnormal protein is likely impaired and interferes with normal gene expression in neurons, resulting in abnormal development of the brain and the signs and symptoms of Renpenning syndrome.

More About This Health Condition


MedlinePlus Genetics provides information about Coloboma

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Other Names for This Gene

  • 38 kDa nuclear protein containing a WW domain
  • nuclear protein containing WW domain 38 kD
  • polyglutamine tract-binding protein 1
  • polyglutamine-binding protein 1
  • PQBP-1
  • RENS1

Additional Information & Resources

Tests Listed in the Genetic Testing Registry

Scientific Articles on PubMed

Catalog of Genes and Diseases from OMIM

Gene and Variant Databases


  • Cossee M, Demeer B, Blanchet P, Echenne B, Singh D, Hagens O, Antin M, Finck S, Vallee L, Dollfus H, Hegde S, Springell K, Thelma BK, Woods G, Kalscheuer V, Mandel JL. Exonic microdeletions in the X-linked PQBP1 gene in mentally retarded patients: a pathogenic mutation and in-frame deletions of uncertain effect. Eur J Hum Genet. 2006 Apr;14(4):418-25. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejhg.5201593. Citation on PubMed
  • Flynn M, Zou YS, Milunsky A. Whole gene duplication of the PQBP1 gene in syndrome resembling Renpenning. Am J Med Genet A. 2011 Jan;155A(1):141-4. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.33756. Epub 2010 Dec 9. Citation on PubMed
  • Germanaud D, Rossi M, Bussy G, Gerard D, Hertz-Pannier L, Blanchet P, Dollfus H, Giuliano F, Bennouna-Greene V, Sarda P, Sigaudy S, Curie A, Vincent MC, Touraine R, des Portes V. The Renpenning syndrome spectrum: new clinical insights supported by 13 new PQBP1-mutated males. Clin Genet. 2011 Mar;79(3):225-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-0004.2010.01551.x. Epub 2010 Oct 18. Citation on PubMed
  • Kleefstra T, Franken CE, Arens YH, Ramakers GJ, Yntema HG, Sistermans EA, Hulsmans CF, Nillesen WN, van Bokhoven H, de Vries BB, Hamel BC. Genotype-phenotype studies in three families with mutations in the polyglutamine-binding protein 1 gene (PQBP1). Clin Genet. 2004 Oct;66(4):318-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-0004.2004.00308.x. Citation on PubMed
  • Kunde SA, Musante L, Grimme A, Fischer U, Muller E, Wanker EE, Kalscheuer VM. The X-chromosome-linked intellectual disability protein PQBP1 is a component of neuronal RNA granules and regulates the appearance of stress granules. Hum Mol Genet. 2011 Dec 15;20(24):4916-31. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddr430. Epub 2011 Sep 20. Citation on PubMed
  • Lenski C, Abidi F, Meindl A, Gibson A, Platzer M, Frank Kooy R, Lubs HA, Stevenson RE, Ramser J, Schwartz CE. Novel truncating mutations in the polyglutamine tract binding protein 1 gene (PQBP1) cause Renpenning syndrome and X-linked mental retardation in another family with microcephaly. Am J Hum Genet. 2004 Apr;74(4):777-80. doi: 10.1086/383205. No abstract available. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Lubs H, Abidi FE, Echeverri R, Holloway L, Meindl A, Stevenson RE, Schwartz CE. Golabi-Ito-Hall syndrome results from a missense mutation in the WW domain of the PQBP1 gene. J Med Genet. 2006 Jun;43(6):e30. doi: 10.1136/jmg.2005.037556. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Martinez-Garay I, Tomas M, Oltra S, Ramser J, Molto MD, Prieto F, Meindl A, Kutsche K, Martinez F. A two base pair deletion in the PQBP1 gene is associated with microphthalmia, microcephaly, and mental retardation. Eur J Hum Genet. 2007 Jan;15(1):29-34. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejhg.5201717. Epub 2006 Oct 11. Citation on PubMed
  • Musante L, Kunde SA, Sulistio TO, Fischer U, Grimme A, Frints SG, Schwartz CE, Martinez F, Romano C, Ropers HH, Kalscheuer VM. Common pathological mutations in PQBP1 induce nonsense-mediated mRNA decay and enhance exclusion of the mutant exon. Hum Mutat. 2010 Jan;31(1):90-8. doi: 10.1002/humu.21146. Citation on PubMed
  • Okazawa H, Sudol M, Rich T. PQBP-1 (Np/PQ): a polyglutamine tract-binding and nuclear inclusion-forming protein. Brain Res Bull. 2001 Oct-Nov 1;56(3-4):273-80. doi: 10.1016/s0361-9230(01)00579-2. Citation on PubMed
  • Stevenson RE, Bennett CW, Abidi F, Kleefstra T, Porteous M, Simensen RJ, Lubs HA, Hamel BC, Schwartz CE. Renpenning syndrome comes into focus. Am J Med Genet A. 2005 May 1;134(4):415-21. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.30664. Citation on PubMed
  • Takahashi M, Mizuguchi M, Shinoda H, Aizawa T, Demura M, Okazawa H, Kawano K. Polyglutamine tract binding protein-1 is an intrinsically unstructured protein. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Jun;1794(6):936-43. doi: 10.1016/j.bbapap.2009.03.001. Epub 2009 Mar 17. Citation on PubMed
  • Tapia VE, Nicolaescu E, McDonald CB, Musi V, Oka T, Inayoshi Y, Satteson AC, Mazack V, Humbert J, Gaffney CJ, Beullens M, Schwartz CE, Landgraf C, Volkmer R, Pastore A, Farooq A, Bollen M, Sudol M. Y65C missense mutation in the WW domain of the Golabi-Ito-Hall syndrome protein PQBP1 affects its binding activity and deregulates pre-mRNA splicing. J Biol Chem. 2010 Jun 18;285(25):19391-401. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.084525. Epub 2010 Apr 21. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central

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