Biochemical Characterization of the Restriction‐Modification System of Bacillus sphaericus


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A type II restriction endonuclease (endo R ·Bsp) has been purified from Bacillus sphaericus to electrophoretic homogeneity. The enzyme appears to be a single polypeptide chain with a molecular weight of 35000. Its pH optimum is around 8.2, it requires 20 mM Mg2+ for optimal activity and it is inhibited by Zn2+. The yield of the enzyme is higher than that of any type II restriction endonuclease so far reported. The enzyme also cleaves single‐stranded DNA, albeit at a slower rate. It seems likely that single‐stranded DNA is cleaved at the same sequences as double‐stranded DNA. Bacillus sphaericus also contains a modification methylase (meth M ·Bsp) which completely protects the cell's own DNA against cleavage by its restriction endonuclease. The methylase activity has been partially purified, it copurifies with the nuclease until the next to the last step. The enzyme does not require ATP or Mg2+, it transfers the methyl group of S‐adenosyl‐methionine to cytosine residues of DNA. As the action of this methylase completely protects any DNA from endo R ·Bsp cleavage, it seems likely that the methylase recognizes and methylates the same sequence (dG‐dG‐dC‐dC) as the nuclease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-529
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - szept. 1978


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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