Multiple functions of DDX3 RNA helicase in gene regulation, tumorigenesis, and viral infection

Front Genet. 2014 Dec 5;5:423. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2014.00423. eCollection 2014.


The DEAD-box RNA helicase DDX3 is a multifunctional protein involved in all aspects of RNA metabolism, including transcription, splicing, mRNA nuclear export, translation, RNA decay and ribosome biogenesis. In addition, DDX3 is also implicated in cell cycle regulation, apoptosis, Wnt-β-catenin signaling, tumorigenesis, and viral infection. Notably, recent studies suggest that DDX3 is a component of anti-viral innate immune signaling pathways. Indeed, DDX3 contributes to enhance the induction of anti-viral mediators, interferon (IFN) regulatory factor 3 and type I IFN. However, DDX3 seems to be an important target for several viruses, such as human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and poxvirus. DDX3 interacts with HIV-1 Rev or HCV Core protein and modulates its function. At least, DDX3 is required for both HIV-1 and HCV replication. Therefore, DDX3 could be a novel therapeutic target for the development of drug against HIV-1 and HCV.

Keywords: DDX3; HCV; HIV-1; RNA helicases; innate immunity; stress granules; translation; tumor suppressor.

Publication types

  • Review