Restriction enzyme

(Redirected from Restriction endonuclease)

A restriction enzyme is an enzyme that cuts DNA at particular places. It works at or near specific recognition nucleotide sequences known as "restriction sites".[1][2][3] To cut DNA, all restriction enzymes make two incisions, once through each strand of the DNA double helix.

These enzymes are found in bacteria and archaea and defend them against invading viruses, which are bacteriophages.[4][5]

Inside a prokaryote, the restriction enzymes selectively cut up foreign DNA in a process called restriction. The host DNA is protected by another enzyme which protects the host DNA and blocks cleavage. Together, these two processes are the restriction modification system.[6] It is the earliest and simplest immune system. They are also a kind of selfish, mobile genetic element.[6]

Over 3000 restriction enzymes have been studied in detail, and more than 600 of these are available commercially.[7] These enzymes are routinely used for DNA modification in laboratories, and are a vital tool in molecular cloning.[8][9][10]


Restriction enzymes probably evolved from a common ancestor and became widespread by horizontal gene transfer.[11][12] In addition, there is growing evidence that restriction endonucleases evolved as a selfish genetic element.[13]

Restriction Enzyme Media

Related pages


  1. Roberts R.J. (1976). "Restriction endonucleases". CRC Crit. Rev. Biochem. 4 (2): 123–64. doi:10.3109/10409237609105456. PMID 795607.
  2. Kessler C. & Manta V. (1990). "Specificity of restriction endonucleases and DNA modification methyltransferases a review (3rd ed)". Gene. 92 (1–2): 1–248. doi:10.1016/0378-1119(90)90486-B. PMID 2172084.
  3. Pingoud A, Alves J, Geiger R (1993). "Chapter 8: Restriction enzymes". In Burrell M (ed.). Enzymes of molecular Bbiology. Methods of Molecular Biology. Vol. 16. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press. pp. 107–200. ISBN 0-89603-234-5.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. Arber W. & Linn S. (1969). "DNA modification and restriction". Annu. Rev. Biochem. 38: 467–500. doi:10.1146/ PMID 4897066.
  5. Krüger D.H. & Bickle T.A. (1983). "Bacteriophage survival: multiple mechanisms for avoiding the deoxyribonucleic acid restriction systems of their hosts". Microbiol. Rev. 47 (3): 345–60. doi:10.1128/mr.47.3.345-360.1983. PMC 281580. PMID 6314109.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Kobayashi I. (2001). "Behavior of restriction–modification systems as selfish mobile elements and their impact on genome evolution". Nucleic Acids Res. 29 (18): 3742–56. doi:10.1093/nar/29.18.3742. PMC 55917. PMID 11557807.
  7. Roberts R.J.; et al. (2007). "REBASE—enzymes and genes for DNA restriction and modification". Nucleic Acids Res. 35 (Database issue): D269–70. doi:10.1093/nar/gkl891. PMC 1899104. PMID 17202163.
  8. Primrose S.B. & Old R.W. (1994). Principles of gene manipulation: an introduction to genetic engineering. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific. ISBN 0-632-03712-1.
  9. Micklos D.A; Bloom M.V. & Freyer G.A. (1996). Laboratory DNA science: an introduction to recombinant DNA techniques and methods of genome analysis. Menlo Park, Calif: Benjamin/Cummings Pub. Co. ISBN 0-8053-3040-2.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. Massey A. & Kreuzer H. (2001). Recombinant DNA and biotechnology: a guide for students. Washington D.C: ASM Press. ISBN 1-55581-176-0.
  11. Jeltsch A; Kröger M. & Pingoud A. (1995). "Evidence for an evolutionary relationship among type-II restriction endonucleases". Gene. 160 (1): 7–16. doi:10.1016/0378-1119(95)00181-5. PMID 7628720.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. Jeltsch A. & Pingoud A. (1996). "Horizontal gene transfer contributes to the wide distribution and evolution of type II restriction-modification systems". J Mol Evol. 42 (2): 91–6. Bibcode:1996JMolE..42...91J. doi:10.1007/BF02198833. PMID 8919860. S2CID 19989648.
  13. Naito T; Kusano K. & Kobayashi I. (1995). "Selfish behavior of restriction-modification systems". Science. 267 (5199): 897–9. Bibcode:1995Sci...267..897N. doi:10.1126/science.7846533. PMID 7846533. S2CID 31128438.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)