DDX3 is a cellular ATP-dependent RNA helicase involved in different aspects of RNA metabolism ranging from transcription to translation and therefore, DDX3 participates in the regulation of key cellular processes including cell cycle progression, apoptosis, cancer and the antiviral immune response leading to type-I interferon production. DDX3 has also been described as an essential cellular factor for the replication of different viruses, including important human threats such HIV-1 or HCV, and different small molecules targeting DDX3 activity have been developed. Indeed, increasing evidence suggests that DDX3 can be considered not only a promising but also a viable target for anticancer and antiviral treatments. In this review, we summarize distinct functional aspects of DDX3 focusing on its participation as a double-edged sword in the host immune response and in the replication cycle of different viruses.
Keywords: DDX3; antiviral target; mRNA metabolism; type-I interferon; viral replication.