NHGRI logo

​Restriction Enzyme

updated: May 23, 2024


A restriction enzyme is a protein isolated from bacteria that cleaves DNA sequences at sequence-specific sites, producing DNA fragments with a known sequence at each end. The use of restriction enzymes is critical to certain laboratory methods, including recombinant DNA technology and genetic engineering.


Restriction enzyme. Restriction enzymes are incredibly cool, and there are at least three thousand of them. Each one of these enzymes cuts a specific DNA sequence and doesn't discriminate as to where the DNA comes from — bacteria, fungi, mouse, or human, snip, snip, snip.

Prabarna Ganguly
Prabarna Ganguly, Ph.D.

Chief Communications Officer

Nucleus Genomics