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FEBS Lett. 1991 Oct 21;291(2):277-81.

Endonuclease (R) subunits of type-I and type-III restriction-modification enzymes contain a helicase-like domain.

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Institute of Poliomyelitis and Viral Encephalitides, USSR Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow Region.


A statistically significant amino acid sequence similarity is demonstrated between the endonuclease (R) subunit of EcoK restriction-modification (R-M) enzyme, and RNA and DNA helicases of the so-called 'DEAD' family. It is further shown that all three known sequences of R subunits of type-I and type-III R-M enzymes contain the conserved amino acid sequence motifs typical of the previously described helicase superfamily II [(1989) Nucleic Acids Res. 17, 4713-4730]. A hypothesis is proposed that these enzymes may exert helicase activity possibly required for local unwinding of DNA in the cleavage sites.

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