Top ▲ RecQ helicases family

Unless otherwise stated all data on this page refer to the human proteins. Gene information is provided for human (Hs), mouse (Mm) and rat (Rn).


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RecQ helicases use the energy from ATP hydrolysis to unwind DNA and/or RNA. There are 5 genes for RecQ helicases in the human genome: BLM, WRN, RECQ1, RECQ4, and RECQ5. The RecQ helicases play important roles in maintaining genome integrity during replication [22], participate in DNA repair pathways (especially homologous recombination) [6], and are involved in facilitating tolerance of microsatellite instability (e.g. in cancer cells) [3-4,10]. Defects in the genes for some of these enzymes have been linked with rare genetic diseases that are characterised by genomic instability and cancer predisposition. In cancers that carry genetic alterations that give rise to microsatellite instability and/or DNA repair defects inhibitors of BLM and WRN helicase functions are proposed as novel cancer therapeutic options that exploit the mechanism of synthetic lethality.


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BLM RecQ like helicase Show summary »

WRN RecQ like helicase Show summary »


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How to cite this family page

Database page citation: RecQ helicases family. Accessed on 22/07/2024. IUPHAR/BPS Guide to PHARMACOLOGY,

Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY citation:

Alexander SPH, Fabbro D, Kelly E, Mathie AA, Peters JA, Veale EL, Armstrong JF, Faccenda E, Harding SD, Davies JA et al. (2023) The Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY 2023/24: Enzymes. Br J Pharmacol. 180 Suppl 2:S289-373.