Molecular Biotechnology

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 225-243

Restriction endonuclease

Classification, properties, and applications
  • Raymond J. WilliamsAffiliated withProtein Purification Dept., Promega Corp. Email author 

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Restriction endonucleases have become a fundamental tool of molecular biology with many commercial vendors and extensive product lines. While a significant amount has been learned about restriction enzyme diversity, genomic organization, and mechanism, these continue to be active areas of research and assist in classification efforts. More recently, one focus has been their exquisite specificity for the proper recognition sequence and the lack of homology among enzymes recognizing the same DNA sequence. Some questions also remain regarding in vivo function. Site-directed mutagenesis and fusion proteins based on known endonucleases show promise for custom-designed cleavage. An understanding of the enzymes and their properties can improve their productive application by maintaining critical digest parameters and enhancing or avoiding alternative activities.

Index Entries

Restriction endonucleases R/M systems star activity single-stranded cleavage site-specific nickases