Among the five superfamilies of helicases involved in RNA and DNA metabolism, superfamily 2 and superfamily 5 include bacterial RNA-helicases. These enzymes have been shown to be involved in ribosome biogenesis and post-transcriptional gene regulation. Here, we focus on bacterial regulatory mechanisms that are mediated by RNA helicases belonging to superfamily 2, which includes DEAD-box and DEAH-box helicases. Some of these helicases are part of bacterial degradosomes and were shown to unwind RNA duplexes. We will review examples where these enzymes have been implicated in translatability and metabolic stability of bacterial transcripts. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The Biology of RNA helicases - Modulation for life.
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