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Perturbations of RNA helicases in cancer

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Abstract Helicases are implicated in most stages of the gene expression pathway, ranging from DNA replication, RNA transcription, splicing, RNA transport, ribosome biogenesis, mRNA translation, RNA storage and decay. These enzymes utilize energy derived from nucleotide triphosphate hydrolysis to remodel ribonucleoprotein complexes, RNA, or DNA and in this manner affect the information content or output of RNA. Several RNA helicases have been implicated in the oncogenic process—either through altered expression levels, mutations, or due to their role in pathways required for tumor initiation, progression, maintenance, or chemosensitivity. The purpose of this review is to highlight those RNA helicases for which there is significant evidence implicating them in cancer biology. WIREs RNA 2013, 4:333–349. doi: 10.1002/wrna.1163 This article is categorized under: RNA in Disease and Development > RNA in Disease Regulatory RNAs/RNAi/Riboswitches > Biogenesis of Effector Small RNAs

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Motif organization of DEAD/H‐box proteins. The functional role of individual motifs is indicated. It is worth noting that even though the DEAD and DEAH family members possess motifs I–VI, the actual amino acid sequence of the motifs differs significantly.

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Mutation status of DEAD/H‐box family members in human cancers. The COSMIC database (www.sanger.ac.uk/genetics/CGP/cosmic/) was searched for mutations in all of the DDX and DHX family members in all human cancers. The mutations identified were then stratified into five classes: nonsense, missense, frameshifts, in‐frame deletions, and in‐frame insertions.

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Human cancers show altered expression levels of DEAD/H‐box family members. The expression levels of DDX and DHX RNA helicases were retrieved from the Oncomine database V4.4.3 (www.oncomine.org). Whenever the mRNA levels encoding a given RNA helicase were found to be altered by more than twofold in a given set of tumors, a hit was scored for that helicase. The top half of each cell represents the number of tumors in which the mRNA is documented to be overexpressed compared to normal tissue, while the lower section indicates tumors in which the mRNA is underexpressed relative to normal tissue.

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Regulatory RNAs/RNAi/Riboswitches > Biogenesis of Effector Small RNAs
RNA in Disease and Development > RNA in Disease

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