The properties and sources of all known class-I, class-II and class-III restriction endonucleases (ENases) and DNA modification methyltransferases (MTases) are listed and newly subclassified according to their sequence specificity. In addition, the enzymes are distinguished in a novel manner according to sequence specificity, cleavage position and methylation sensitivity. Furthermore, new nomenclature rules are proposed for unambiguously defined enzyme names. In the various Tables, the enzymes are cross-indexed alphabetically according to their names (Table I), classified according to their recognition sequence homologies (Table II), and characterized within Table II by the cleavage and methylation positions, the number of recognition sites on the DNA of the bacteriophages lambda, phi X174, and M13mp7, the viruses Ad2 and SV40, the plasmids pBR322 and pBR328, and the microorganisms from which they originate. Other tabulated properties of the ENases include relaxed specificities (integrated within Table II), the structure of the generated fragment ends (Table III), interconversion of restriction sites (Table IV) and the sensitivity to different kinds of DNA methylation (Table V). Table VI shows the influence of class-II MTases on the activity of class-II ENases with at least partially overlapping recognition sequences. Table VII lists all class-II restriction endonucleases and MTases which are commercially available. The information given in Table V focuses on the influence of methylation of the recognition sequences on the activity of ENases. This information might be useful for the design of cloning experiments especially in Escherichia coli containing M.EcodamI and M.EcodcmI [H16, M21, U3] or for studying the level and distribution of site-specific methylation in cellular DNA, e.g., 5'- (M)CpG-3' in mammals, 5'-(M)CpNpG-3' in plants or 5'-GpA(M)pTpC-3' in enterobacteria [B29, E4, M30, V4, V13, W24]. In Table IV a cross index for the interconversion of two- and four-nt 5'-protruding ends into new recognition sequences is complied. This was obtained by the fill-in reaction with the Klenow (large) fragment of the E. coli DNA polymerase I (PolIk), or additional nuclease S1 treatment followed by ligation of the modified fragment termini [P3]. Interconversion of restriction sites generates novel cloning sites without the need of linkers. This should improve the flexibility of genetic engineering experiments [K56, P3].(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
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