Environmental stresses threatening cell homeostasis trigger various cellular responses ranging from the activation of survival pathways to eliciting programmed cell death. Cellular stress response highly depends on the nature and level of the insult as well as the cell type. Notably, the interplay among all these responses will ultimately determine the fate of the stressed cell. Human DExD/H RNA helicases are ubiquitous molecular motors rearranging RNA secondary structure in an ATP-dependent fashion. These highly conserved enzymes participate in nearly all aspects of cellular process involving RNA metabolism. Although numerous functions of DExD/H RNA helicases are well documented, their importance in stress response is only just becoming evident. This review outlines our current knowledge on major mechanistic themes of human DExD/H RNA helicases in response to stressful stimuli, especially on emerging molecular models for the functional roles of these enzymes in the stress survival regulation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas