<cell biology> One of a large group of enzymes that cleave nucleic acids at positions within the chain. Some act on both RNA and DNA (e.g. S1 nuclease, EC.22.214.171.124, that is specific for single stranded molecules).
Ribonucleases such as pancreatic, T1 etc. Are specific for RNA, Deoxyribonucleases for DNA. Bacterial restriction endonucleases are crucial in recombinant DNA technology for their ability to cleave double stranded DNA at highly specific sites.
(07 Apr 1998)
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