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Biochim Biophys Acta 2013 Aug 01;18298:810-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2013.04.005.
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The DEAD-box helicase Vasa: evidence for a multiplicity of functions in RNA processes and developmental biology.

Lasko P .

DEAD-box helicases related to the Drosophila protein Vasa (also known as Ddx4) are found throughout the animal kingdom. They have been linked to numerous processes in gametogenesis, germ cell specification, and stem cell biology, and alterations in Vasa expression are associated with malignancy of tumor cells and with some human male infertility syndromes. Experimental results indicating how Vasa contributes to all these different cellular and developmental processes are discussed, using examples from planarians, Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila, sea urchin, zebrafish, Xenopus, mouse, and human. Molecular, cellular, and developmental functions of Vasa and its orthologs are reviewed in this article. Evidence linking Vasa to translational regulation, to biogenesis of small RNAs, and to chromosome condensation is examined. Finally, potential overlapping functions between Vasa and related DEAD-box helicases (Belle, or Ddx3, and DEADSouth, or Ddx25) are explored. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The biology of RNA helicases - Modulation for life.

PubMed ID: 23587717
Article link: Biochim Biophys Acta

Genes referenced: ddx4 LOC100887844 LOC105441782 LOC115919910 LOC587482