The RNA helicase A in malignant transformation

Marco Fidaleo, Elisa De Paola and Maria Paola Paronetto _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:28711-28723. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7377

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Marco Fidaleo1,2, Elisa De Paola1,2 and Maria Paola Paronetto1,2

1 Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, University of Rome “Foro Italico”, Rome, Italy

2 Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, CERC, Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome, Italy

Correspondence to:

Maria Paola Paronetto, email:

Keywords: RHA helicase, genomic stability, cancer

Received: October 02, 2015 Accepted: January 29, 2016 Published: February 14, 2016


The RNA helicase A (RHA) is involved in several steps of RNA metabolism, such as RNA processing, cellular transit of viral molecules, ribosome assembly, regulation of transcription and translation of specific mRNAs. RHA is a multifunctional protein whose roles depend on the specific interaction with different molecular partners, which have been extensively characterized in physiological situations. More recently, the functional implication of RHA in human cancer has emerged. Interestingly, RHA was shown to cooperate with both tumor suppressors and oncoproteins in different tumours, indicating that its specific role in cancer is strongly influenced by the cellular context. For instance, silencing of RHA and/or disruption of its interaction with the oncoprotein EWS-FLI1 rendered Ewing sarcoma cells more sensitive to genotoxic stresses and affected tumor growth and maintenance, suggesting possible therapeutic implications.

Herein, we review the recent advances in the cellular functions of RHA and discuss its implication in oncogenesis, providing a perspective for future studies and potential translational opportunities in human cancer.

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