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Trends Cell Biol. 1994 Aug;4(8):271-4.

RNA helicases: modulators of RNA structure.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK DD1 4HN.


RNA molecules play an essential role in many cellular processes, often as components of ribonucleoprotein complexes. Like proteins, RNA molecules adopt sequence-specific secondary and tertiary structures that are essential for function; alteration of these structures therefore provides a means of regulating RNA function. The discovery of DEAD box proteins, a large family of proteins that share several highly conserved motifs and have known or putative ATP-dependent RNA helicase activity, has provoked growing interest in the concept that regulation of RNA function may occur through local unwinding of complex RNA structures.

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