How do restriction enzyme cut at specific sequences?

1 Answer


Restriction enzymes are used in the laboratory to cut DNA into smaller fragments. The specific restriction sites of DNA are generally palindromic sequences .


The cuts are always made at specific nucleotide sequences . Different restriction enzymes recognise and cut different DNA sequences.

Restriction enzymes work by shape to shape matching . It comes into contact with a DNA sequence with a shape that matches a part of the enzyme , called the restriction site. It then wraps around the DNA and causes a break in both the strands of the DNA molecule.
Each restriction enzymes recognises a different and specific recognition site or DNA sequence. Recognition sites are usually only 4 - 8 nucleotides long.

Restriction enzymes are basic tools for biotechnological research and are used for DNA cloning and DNA fingerprinting.