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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 Aug;1829(8):817-23. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2013.03.006. Epub 2013 Mar 23.

The DHH1/RCKp54 family of helicases: an ancient family of proteins that promote translational silencing.

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Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.


Translational control is a vital aspect of gene expression. Message specific translational repressors have been known for decades. Recent evidence, however, suggests that a general machinery exists that dampens the translational capacity of the majority of mRNAs. This activity has been best ascribed to a conserved family of RNA helicases called the DHH1/RCKp54 family. The function of these helicases is to promote translational silencing. By transitioning mRNA into quiescence, DHH1/RCKp54 helicases promote either mRNA destruction or storage. In this review we describe the known roles of these helicases and propose a mechanistic model to explain their mode of action. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The Biology of RNA helicases - Modulation for life.

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