The Pif1 family in prokaryotes: What are our helicases doing in your bacteria?

Matthew L. Bochman, Colleen P. Judge, Virginia A. Zakian

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Pif1 family helicases, which are found in nearly all eukaryotes, have important roles in both nuclear and mitochondrial genome maintenance. Recently, the increasing availability of genome sequences has revealed that Pif1 helicases are also widely found in diverse prokaryotes, but it is currently unknown what physiological function(s) prokaryotic Pif1 helicases might perform. This Perspective aims to briefly introduce the reader to the well-studied eukaryotic Pif1 family helicases and speculate on what roles such enzymes may play in bacteria. On the basis of our hypotheses, we predict that Pif1 family helicases are important for resolving common issues that arise during DNA replication, recombination, and repair rather than functioning in a eukaryotic-specific manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1955-1959
Number of pages5
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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