restriction enzyme

Protein (more specifically, an endonuclease) produced by bacteria that cleaves DNA at specific sites along its length. Thousands have been found, from many different bacteria; each recognizes a specific nucleotide sequence. In the living bacterial cell, these enzymes destroy the DNA of certain invading viruses (bacteriophages), thus placing a “restriction” on the number of viral strains that can cause infection; the bacterium's own DNA is protected from cleavage by methyl (singlehorzbondCH3) groups, which are added by enzymes at the recognition sites to mask them. In the laboratory, restriction enzymes allow researchers to isolate DNA fragments of interest, such as those that contain genes, and to recombine them with other DNA molecules; for this reason they have become very powerful tools of recombinant DNA biotechnology (see DNA recombination).

Learn more about restriction enzyme with a free trial on

A restriction is a specific type of rule that defines a finite (and generally absolute) boundary defined for a type of process or function.

Restriction may also refer to:

In mathematics:

In economics:

  • A type of boundary or regulation placed on the trade of certain goods or services
  • A condition on the variables in statistics, econometrics, and regression analysis

The adjectival form, "restricted," may be used in reference to written or unwritten covenants enforcing racial or ethnic segregation or religious segregation — frequently anti-Jewish or more generally anti-Semitic — in housing (see "Restrictive covenant") or in organizations, such as country clubs.

Search another word or see restrictionon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature