PMID: 12586391Feb 15, 2003Paper

Single-strand-specific nucleases

FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Neelam A Desai, Vepatu Shankar


Single-strand-specific nucleases are multifunctional enzymes and widespread in distribution. Their ability to act selectively on single-stranded nucleic acids and single-stranded regions in double-stranded nucleic acids has led to their extensive application as probes for the structural determination of nucleic acids. Intracellularly, they have been implicated in recombination, repair and replication, whereas extracellular enzymes have a role in nutrition. Although more than 30 single-strand-specific nucleases from various sources have been isolated till now, only a few enzymes (S1 nuclease from Aspergillus oryzae, P1 nuclease from Penicillium citrinum and nucleases from Alteromonas espejiana, Neurospora crassa, Ustilago maydis and mung bean) have been characterized to a significant extent. Recently, some of these enzymes have been cloned, their crystal structures solved and their interactions with different substrates have been established. The detection, purification, characteristics, structure-function correlations, biological role and applications of single-strand-specific nucleases are reviewed.


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