Functional and molecular analysis of Escherichia coli strains lacking multiple DEAD-box helicases

Kevin L. Jagessar, Chaitanya Jain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


DEAD-box RNA helicases are enzymes that unwind RNA duplexes and are found in virtually all organisms. Most organisms harbor multiple DEAD-box helicases, suggesting that these factors participate in distinct aspects of RNA metabolism. To define the individual and collective contribution of the five DEAD-box helicases in the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli ), nonpolar deletion mutants lacking single or multiple DEAD-box genes were constructed. An analysis of the single-deletion strains indicated that the absence of either the DeaD or SrmB RNA helicase causes growth and/or ribosomal defects under typical laboratory growth conditions. The analysis of strains lacking multiple DEAD-box genes showed cumulative growth defects at low temperatures. A strain deleted for all five DEAD-box genes was also constructed for these studies, representing the first time all DEAD-box genes have been removed in any organism. Additional investigations revealed that the growth and ribosomal defects of such a DEAD-box deficient strain can be sharply attenuated under alternative conditions, indicating that the defects caused by a lack of DEAD-box genes are modulated by growth context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1386-1392
Number of pages7
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • DEAD-box proteins
  • Escherichia coli
  • Ribosome assembly
  • RNA processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Medicine(all)


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