- any of a group of enzymes that catalyze the cleavage of DNA molecules at specific sites: used for gene splicing in recombinant DNA technology and for chromosome mapping.
Origin of restriction enzyme
First recorded in 1960–65
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- any of several enzymes produced by bacteria as a defence against viral infection and commonly used to cut DNA for genetic manipulation or diagnosis
- Any of a group of enzymes that cleave DNA at specific sites to produce discrete fragments, used especially in gene-splicing.restriction endonuclease
Chemicals used in the lab to cut up DNA at specific sites so that it may be sequenced. They function in nature as a form of bacterial self-protection that can cut up foreign DNA. The use of restriction enzymes is crucial in DNA fingerprinting.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.