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Restriction enzymes usually cut only at palindromic sequences. Is there any specific reason for that ? Is there any advantage for bacteria if it cuts up virus at this type of sequences ?

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2 Answers 2

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First, not all restriction enzymes cut at palindromic sequences. A lot of them do though, simply because it is more effective. Recognising a palindromic sequence enables them to cut both strands of DNA at the "same" site, because the strand will have the same sequence only in different directions at that site.

See Wikipedia for example.

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Of course..you are right but what advantage did a bacteria have by evolving such enzymes (which cut at palindromic sites)? –  biogirl Aug 22 '13 at 7:50
That it's going to cut both strands. So it is more efficient. –  skymninge Aug 22 '13 at 8:30
Yes you are right.Many of the bacteriophages are double stranded. Thanks :) –  biogirl Aug 22 '13 at 8:48

These REs, that recognize palindromes, are mostly homodimers and hence the same sequences (for each monomer)for recognition, only they are reversed. This explains the palindromes.

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