ATP-dependent RNA helicase which is a subunit of the eIF4F complex involved in cap recognition and is required for mRNA binding to ribosome. In the current model of translation initiation, eIF4A unwinds RNA secondary structures in the 5'-UTR of mRNAs which is necessary to allow efficient binding of the small ribosomal subunit, and subsequent scanning for the initiator codon.
Belongs to the DEAD box helicase family. eIF4A subfamily. Contains 1 helicase ATP-binding domain. Contains 1 helicase C-terminal domain.