RNA Specificity and Autoregulation of DDX17, a Modulator of MicroRNA Biogenesis

Tri D. Ngo, Alexander C. Partin, Yunsun Nam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


DDX17, a DEAD-box ATPase, is a multifunctional helicase important for various RNA functions, including microRNA maturation. Key questions for DDX17 include how it recognizes target RNAs and influences their structures, as well as how its ATPase activity may be regulated. Through crystal structures and biochemical assays, we show the ability of the core catalytic domains of DDX17 to recognize specific sequences in target RNAs. The RNA sequence preference of the catalytic core is critical for DDX17 to directly bind and remodel a specific region of primary microRNAs 3′ to the mature sequence, and consequently enhance processing by Drosha. Furthermore, we identify an intramolecular interaction between the N-terminal tail and the DEAD domain of DDX17 to have an autoregulatory role in controlling the ATPase activity. Thus, we provide the molecular basis for how cognate RNA recognition and functional outcomes are linked for DDX17.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4024-4035.e5
JournalCell Reports
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 17 2019


  • ATPase
  • DDX17
  • DEAD-box helicase
  • DGCR8
  • Drosha
  • Microprocessor
  • RNA
  • microRNA
  • p72
  • pri-miRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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