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Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2011 Oct;15(5):636-42. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2011.07.019. Epub 2011 Aug 20.

RNA helicases and remodeling proteins.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, New Haven, CT 0652, USA.


It is becoming increasingly clear that RNA molecules play a major role in all aspects of metabolism. The conformational state and stability of RNA are controlled by RNA remodeling proteins, which are ubiquitous motor proteins in the cell. Here, we review advances in our understanding of the structure and function of three major structural families of RNA remodeling proteins, the hexameric ring proteins, the processive monomeric RNA translocase/helicases, and the functionally diverse DEAD-box remodeling proteins. New studies have revealed molecular mechanisms for coupling between ATP hydrolysis and unwinding, the physical basis for regulatory control by cofactors, and novel functions for RNA remodeling proteins.

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