Nucleoside triphosphate-dependent restriction enzymes

D T F Dryden, N E Murray, D N Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review


The known nucleoside triphosphate-dependent restriction enzymes are hetero-oligomeric proteins that behave as molecular machines in response to their target sequences. They translocate DNA in a process dependent on the hydrolysis of a nucleoside triphosphate. For the ATP-dependent type I and type III restriction and modification systems, the collision of translocating complexes triggers hydrolysis of phosphodiester bonds in unmodified DNA to generate double-strand breaks. Type I endonucleases; break the DNA at unspecified sequences remote from the target sequence, type III endonucleases at a fixed position close to the target sequence. Type I and type III restriction and modification (R-M) systems are notable for effective post-translational control of their endonuclease activity. For some type I enzymes, this control is mediated by proteolytic degradation of that subunit of the complex which is essential for DNA translocation and breakage. This control, lacking in the well-studied type II R-M systems, provides extraordinarily effective protection of resident DNA should it acquire unmodified target sequences. The only well-documented GTP-dependent restriction enzyme, McrBC, requires methylated target sequences for the initiation of phosphodiester bond cleavage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3728-3741
Number of pages14
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2001


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