A restriction enzyme is an enzyme isolated from bacteria that cuts DNA molecules at specific sequences. The isolation of these enzymes was critical to the development of recombinant DNA (rDNA) technology and genetic engineering.
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Restriction enzymes are proteins that bind to DNA in a very specific manner. So they actually recognize the base pairs within the DNA. And typically they will bind to a palindromic sequence, for instance, a sequence that is a mirror copy of itself--AGCCGA.
Stacie Loftus, Ph.D.
Associate Investigator, Genetic Disease Research Branch
Dr. Loftus's research focuses on the genetic and cellular processes that control mammalian development with the goal of developing a better understanding of inborn errors of embryonic development. Although finding the genes responsible for such conditions does not automatically lead to a cure, such findings can give important clues about what is going wrong at the cellular level, and animal models carrying these genetic alterations can provide researchers with useful ways to test potential therapies. As part of the Mouse Embryology Section, led by Dr. William Pavan, Dr. Loftus is analyzing the molecular and genetic basis of neural crest development.