ATP-dependent RNA helicase. Binds to partially double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) in order to unwind RNA secondary structures. Unwinding is promoted in the presence of single-strand binding proteins. Mediates also RNA duplex formation thereby displacing the single-strand RNA binding protein. ATP and ADP modulate its activity: ATP binding and hydrolysis by DDX42 triggers RNA strand separation, whereas the ADP-bound form of the protein triggers annealing of complementary RNA strands. Involved in the survival of cells by interacting with TP53BP2 and thereby counteracting the apoptosis-stimulating activity of TP53BP2. Relocalizes TP53BP2 to the cytoplasm.