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Trends Biochem Sci. 1998 Sep;23(9):331-6.

Structure-specific DNA cleavage by 5' nucleases.

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  • 1Celltech Therapeutics, Slough, Berkshire, UK.


Many processes, such as DNA replication, recombination and repair, produce branched DNA structures. These bifurcated molecules are trimmed by a group of homologous 5'-3' exonucleases (also known as 5' nucleases) in structure-specific cleavage reactions. X-ray crystallographical and biochemical studies suggest that ssDNA substrates become threaded through the 5'-3' exonucleases, where hydrolysis is effected with the aid of divalent metal cations.

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