Happy Birthday: 30 Years of RNA Helicases

Methods Mol Biol. 2021:2209:17-34. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-0935-4_2.


RNA helicases are ubiquitous, highly conserved RNA-binding enzymes that use the energy derived from the hydrolysis of nucleoside triphosphate to modify the structure of RNA molecules and/or the functionality of ribonucleoprotein complexes. Ultimately, the action of RNA helicases results in changes in gene expression that allow the cell to perform crucial functions. In this chapter, we review established and emerging concepts for DEAD-box and DExH-box RNA helicases. We mention examples from both eukaryotic and prokaryotic systems, in order to highlight common themes and specific actions.

Keywords: ATP/NTPase; DEAD-box; DExH-box; Gene expression; RNA helicases; RNA-binding proteins.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / enzymology
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases* / chemistry
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases* / physiology
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Protein Binding
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Yeasts / enzymology


  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases