EC - DNA helicase

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IntEnz Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name:
DNA helicase
Other names:
3' to 5' DNA helicase
3'-5' DNA helicase
3'-5' PfDH
5' to 3' DNA helicase
BACH1 helicase
BLM protein
BRCA1-associated C-terminal helicase
DNA helicase 120
DNA helicase A
DNA helicase E
DNA helicase II
DNA helicase III
DNA helicase RECQL5'
DNA helicase VI
DnaB helicase E1
helicase HDH IV
Hel E
helicase DnaB
helicase domain of bacteriophage T7 gene 4 protein helicase
PcrA helicase
MCM helicase
MCM protein
MER3 helicase
MER3 protein
Systematic name:
ATP phosphohydrolase (DNA helix unwinding)



DNA helicases utilize the energy from ATP hydrolysis to unwind double-stranded DNA. Some of them unwind duplex DNA with a 3' to 5' polarity, other show 5' to 3' polarity or unwind DNA in both directions. Some helicases unwind DNA as well as RNA. May be identical with EC

Links to other databases

Enzymes and pathways: NC-IUBMB , BRENDA , ExplorEnz , ENZYME@ExPASy , KEGG , MetaCyc , UniPathway
Protein domains and families: PROSITE:PDOC00039 , PROSITE:PDOC51192 , PROSITE:PDOC51198 , PROSITE:PDOC51199 , PROSITE:PDOC51206 , PROSITE:PDOC51413
Structural data: CSA , EC2PDB
Gene Ontology: GO:0003678
UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot: (1000) [show] [UniProt]


  1. Ozsoy, A. Z., Sekelsky, J. J., Matson, S. W.
    Biochemical characterization of the small isoform of Drosophila melanogaster RECQ5 helicase.
    Nucleic Acids Res. 29 : 2986-2993 (2001). [PMID: 11452023]
  2. Tanner, J. A., Watt, R. M., Chai, Y. B., Lu, L. Y., Lin, M. C., Peiris, J. S., Poon, L. L., Kung, H. F., Huang, J. D.
    The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus NTPase/helicase belongs to a distinct class of 5' to 3' viral helicases.
    J. Biol. Chem. 278 : 39578-39582 (2003). [PMID: 12917423]
  3. Nakagawa, T., Flores-Rozas, H., Kolodner, R. D.
    The MER3 helicase involved in meiotic crossing over is stimulated by single-stranded DNA-binding proteins and unwinds DNA in the 3' to 5' direction.
    J. Biol. Chem. 276 : 31487-31493 (2001). [PMID: 11376001]
  4. Lee, C., Seo, Y. S.
    Isolation and characterization of a processive DNA helicase from the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe that translocates in a 5'-to-3' direction.
    Biochem. J. 334 : 377-386 (1998). [PMID: 9716495]
  5. Phan, T. N., Ehtesham, N. Z., Tuteja, R., Tuteja, N.
    A novel nuclear DNA helicase with high specific activity from Pisum sativum catalytically translocates in the 3'→5' direction.
    Eur. J. Biochem. 270 : 1735-1745 (2003). [PMID: 12694186]
  6. Bernstein, D. A., Zittel, M. C., Keck, J. L.
    High-resolution structure of the E.coli RecQ helicase catalytic core.
    EMBO J. 22 : 4910-4921 (2003). [PMID: 14517231]
  7. Pike, A. C., Shrestha, B., Popuri, V., Burgess-Brown, N., Muzzolini, L., Costantini, S., Vindigni, A., Gileadi, O.
    Structure of the human RECQ1 helicase reveals a putative strand-separation pin.
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106 : 1039-1044 (2009). [PMID: 19151156]
  8. Frick, D. N.
    The hepatitis C virus NS3 protein: a model RNA helicase and potential drug target.
    Curr. issues Mol. Biol. 9 : 1-20 (2007). [PMID: 17263143]
  9. Ivanov, K. A., Ziebuhr, J.
    Human coronavirus 229E nonstructural protein 13: characterization of duplex-unwinding, nucleoside triphosphatase, and RNA 5'-triphosphatase activities.
    J. Virol. 78 : 7833-7838 (2004). [PMID: 15220459]
  10. Ivessa, A. S., Zhou, J. Q., Schulz, V. P., Monson, E. K., Zakian, V. A.
    Saccharomyces Rrm3p, a 5' to 3' DNA helicase that promotes replication fork progression through telomeric and subtelomeric DNA.
    Genes Dev. 16 : 1383-1396 (2002). [PMID: 12050116]
  11. Zhou, J. Q., Qi, H., Schulz, V. P., Mateyak, M. K., Monson, E. K., Zakian, V. A.
    Schizosaccharomyces pombe pfh1+ encodes an essential 5' to 3' DNA helicase that is a member of the PIF1 subfamily of DNA helicases.
    Mol. Biol. Cell 13 : 2180-2191 (2002). [PMID: 12058079]
  12. George, T., Wen, Q., Griffiths, R., Ganesh, A., Meuth, M., Sanders, C. M.
    Human Pif1 helicase unwinds synthetic DNA structures resembling stalled DNA replication forks.
    Nucleic Acids Res. 37 : 6491-6502 (2009). [PMID: 19700773]
  13. Naqvi, A., Tinsley, E., Khan, S. A.
    Purification and characterization of the PcrA helicase of Bacillus anthracis.
    J. Bacteriol. 185 : 6633-6639 (2003). [PMID: 14594837]
  14. Ruiz-Maso, J. A., Anand, S. P., Espinosa, M., Khan, S. A., del Solar, G.
    Genetic and biochemical characterization of the Streptococcus pneumoniae PcrA helicase and its role in plasmid rolling circle replication.
    J. Bacteriol. 188 : 7416-7425 (2006). [PMID: 16936036]

[EC created 2009]