RNA helicases: Emerging roles in viral replication and the host innate response

 Abstract

RNA helicases serve multiple roles at the virus-host interface. In some situations, RNA helicases are essential host factors to promote viral replication; however, in other cases they serve as a cellular sensor to trigger the antiviral state in response to viral infection. All family members share the conserved ATP-dependent catalytic core linked to different substrate recognition and protein-protein interaction domains. These flanking domains can be shuffled between different helicases to achieve functional diversity. This review summarizes recent studies, which have revealed two types of activity by RNA helicases. First, RNA helicases are catalysts of progressive RNA-protein rearrangements that begin at gene transcription and culminate in mRNA translation. Second, RNA helicases can act as a scaffold for alternative protein-protein interactions that can defeat the antiviral state. The mounting fundamental understanding of RNA helicases is being used to develop selective and efficacious drugs against human and animal pathogens. The analysis of RNA helicases in virus model systems continues to provide insights into virology, cell biology and immunology, and has provided fresh perspective to continue unraveling the complexity of virus-host interactions.

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Pages
775 - 787
doi
10.4161/rna.7.6.14249
Type
Review
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RNA helicases: Emerging roles in viral replication and the host innate response