Level of murine ddx3 rna helicase determines phenotype changes of hepatocytes in vitro and in vivo

Olga Sergeeva, Tatiana Abakumova, Ilia Kurochkin, Renata Ialchina, Anna Kosyreva, Tatiana Prikazchikova, Varvara Varlamova, Evgenia Shcherbinina, Timofei Zatsepin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


DDX3 RNA helicase is intensively studied as a therapeutic target due to participation in the replication of some viruses and involvement in cancer progression. Here we used transcriptome analysis to estimate the primary response of hepatocytes to different levels of RNAi-mediated knockdown of DDX3 RNA helicase both in vitro and in vivo. We found that a strong reduction of DDX3 protein (>85%) led to similar changes in vitro and in vivo—deregulation of the cell cycle and Wnt and cadherin pathways. Also, we observed the appearance of dead hepatocytes in the healthy liver and a decrease of cell viability in vitro after prolonged treatment. However, more modest downregulation of the DDX3 protein (60–65%) showed discordant results in vitro and in vivo— similar changes in vitro as in the case of strong knockdown and a different phenotype in vivo. These results demonstrate that the level of DDX3 protein can dramatically influence the cell phenotype in vivo and the decrease of DDX3, for more than 85% leads to cell death in normal tissues, which should be taken into account during the drug development of DDX3 inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6958
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021


  • Cancer
  • Liver
  • RNA helicase
  • RNA therapy
  • Transcriptome


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