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DExD (DDX)- and DExH (DHX)-box RNA helicases, named after their Asp-Glu-x-Asp/His motifs, are integral to almost all RNA metabolic processes in eukaryotic cells. They play myriad roles in processes ranging from transcription and mRNA-protein complex remodeling, to RNA decay and translation. This last facet, translation, is an intricate process that involves DDX/DHX helicases and presents a regulatory node that is highly targetable. Studies aimed at better understanding this family of conserved proteins have revealed insights into their structures, catalytic mechanisms, and biological roles. They have also led to the development of chemical modulators that seek to exploit their essential roles in diseases. Herein, we review the most recent insights on several general and target-specific DDX/DHX helicases in eukaryotic translation initiation.


Leo Shen, Jerry Pelletier. General and Target-Specific DExD/H RNA Helicases in Eukaryotic Translation Initiation. International journal of molecular sciences. 2020 Jun 20;21(12)

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PMID: 32575790

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