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Microbiol Rev. 1993 Jun;57(2):434-50.

Biology of DNA restriction.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Biozentrum, Basel University, Switzerland.


Our understanding of the evolution of DNA restriction and modification systems, the control of the expression of the structural genes for the enzymes, and the importance of DNA restriction in the cellular economy has advanced by leaps and bounds in recent years. This review documents these advances for the three major classes of classical restriction and modification systems, describes the discovery of a new class of restriction systems that specifically cut DNA carrying the modification signature of foreign cells, and deals with the mechanisms developed by phages to avoid the restriction systems of their hosts.

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