Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
DEAD box RNA helicases: crucial regulators of gene expression and oncogenesis
DEAD box protein family of RNA helicases are vital players of RNA metabolism, and constitute the largest family of RNA helicases. Members of this family share nine conserved motifs including an Asp-Glu-Ala-Asp motif, giving this family its characteristic name as DEAD box RNA helicases. These conserved motifs confer RNA binding and RNA unwinding properties. Besides functioning in RNA metabolism, emerging evidences suggests several DEAD box RNA helicases to possess potential roles in regulating gene expression by acting as a transcriptional co-activator. Many of them are deregulated in cancers, and are implicated in possessing oncogenic potential. On the contrary, each of them also possesses tumor suppressive property in a context dependent manner. In this review, we discuss the mechanistic insights of gene regulation by DEAD box RNA helicases, and their significance in cancers.