Unwinding the roles of RNA helicase MOV10

Aatiqa Nawaz, Temirlan Shilikbay, Geena Skariah, Stephanie Ceman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


MOV10 is an RNA helicase that associates with the RNA-induced silencing complex component Argonaute (AGO), likely resolving RNA secondary structures. MOV10 also binds the Fragile X mental retardation protein to block AGO2 binding at some sites and associates with UPF1, a principal component of the nonsense-mediated RNA decay pathway. MOV10 is widely expressed and has a key role in the cellular response to viral infection and in suppressing retrotransposition. Posttranslational modifications of MOV10 include ubiquitination, which leads to stimulation-dependent degradation, and phosphorylation, which has an unknown function. MOV10 localizes to the nucleus and/or cytoplasm in a cell type-specific and developmental stage-specific manner. Knockout of Mov10 leads to embryonic lethality, underscoring an important role in development where it is required for the completion of gastrulation. MOV10 is expressed throughout the organism; however, most studies have focused on germline cells and neurons. In the testes, the knockdown of Mov10 disrupts proliferation of spermatogonial progenitor cells. In brain, MOV10 is significantly elevated postnatally and binds mRNAs encoding cytoskeleton and neuron projection proteins, suggesting an important role in neuronal architecture. Heterozygous Mov10 mutant mice are hyperactive and anxious and their cultured hippocampal neurons have reduced dendritic arborization. Zygotic knockdown of Mov10 in Xenopus laevis causes abnormal head and eye development and mislocalization of neuronal precursors in the brain. Thus, MOV10 plays a vital role during development, defense against viral infection and in neuronal development and function: its many roles and regulation are only beginning to be unraveled. This article is categorized under: RNA Interactions with Proteins and Other Molecules > RNA-Protein Complexes RNA Interactions with Proteins and Other Molecules > Protein-RNA Interactions: Functional Implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1682
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: RNA
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022


  • MOV10
  • RNA helicase
  • RNA-binding proteins
  • translation regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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