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DNA Cell Biol. 2008 May;27(5):223-8. doi: 10.1089/dna.2007.0691.

The functions of Deoxyribonuclease II in immunity and development.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Zoonosis, Institute of Zoonosis, Jilin University, Ministry of Education, Changchun, P. R. China.


Apoptosis, which is usually accompanied by DNA degradation, is important not only for the homeostasis of metazoans but also for mammalian development. If DNA is not properly degraded in these processes, it can cause diverse diseases, such as anemia, cataracts, and some autoimmune diseases. A large effort has been made to identify these nucleases that are responsible for these effects. In contrast to Deoxyribonuclease I (DNase I), Deoxyribonuclease II (DNase II) has been less well characterized in these processes. Additionally, enzymes of DNase II family in Trichinella spiralis, which is an intracellular parasitic nematode, are also considered involved in the development of the nematode. We have compiled information from studies on DNase II from various organisms and found some nonclassic features in these enzymes of T. spiralis. Here we have reviewed the characterization and functions of DNase II in these processes and predicted the functions of these enzymes in T. spiralis during host invasion and development.

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