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Biochemistry. 2002 Nov 26;41(47):13851-60.

Catalytic mechanisms of restriction and homing endonucleases.

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  • 1Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Graduate Program in Biomolecular Structure and Design, University of Washington, 1100 Fairview Avenue North, A3-023, Seattle, Washington 98109, USA.


The catalytic mechanisms of type II restriction endonucleases and homing endonucleases are discussed and compared. Brief reviews of the chemistry of phosphoryl transfers and canonical one-metal and two-metal endonucleolytic mechanisms are provided along with possible future directions in the study of endonuclease active sites. The discussion of type II restriction endonucleases is comprised of a description of the general architecture of the canonical active site structural motif followed by more in-depth examples of one- and two-metal mechanisms. The homing endonuclease section is comprised of four sections describing what is known regarding the cleavage mechanisms of the four group I intron homing endonuclease families: LAGLIDADG, His-Cys box, H-N-H, and GIY-YIG.

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