Dead-box proteins: a family affair--active and passive players in RNP-remodeling

Nucleic Acids Res. 2006;34(15):4168-80. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkl468. Epub 2006 Aug 26.


DEAD-box proteins are characterized by nine conserved motifs. According to these criteria, several hundreds of these proteins can be identified in databases. Many different DEAD-box proteins can be found in eukaryotes, whereas prokaryotes have small numbers of different DEAD-box proteins. DEAD-box proteins play important roles in RNA metabolism, and they are very specific and cannot mutually be replaced. In vitro, many DEAD-box proteins have been shown to have RNA-dependent ATPase and ATP-dependent RNA helicase activities. From the genetic and biochemical data obtained mainly in yeast, it has become clear that these proteins play important roles in remodeling RNP complexes in a temporally controlled fashion. Here, I shall give a general overview of the DEAD-box protein family.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Conserved Sequence*
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases
  • Humans
  • RNA Helicases / chemistry
  • RNA Helicases / genetics
  • RNA Helicases / physiology*
  • RNA Nucleotidyltransferases / chemistry
  • RNA Nucleotidyltransferases / genetics
  • RNA Nucleotidyltransferases / physiology*
  • Ribonucleoproteins / chemistry*
  • Ribonucleoproteins / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / chemistry
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / physiology*


  • Ribonucleoproteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • RNA Nucleotidyltransferases
  • DDX4 protein, human
  • HCA4 protein, S cerevisiae
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases
  • RNA Helicases