An enzyme that cleaves the chains of nucleotides in nucleic acids into smaller units.
- These DNA-binding proteins include polymerases, helicases, nucleases, isomerases, ligases, histones, and others.
- Such hydrolytic enzymes as cystein proteinases, serine proteinases, and nucleases are highly induced during xylogenesis.
- Plants then synthesize antimicrobial substances, including the protein chitinase, which degrades the cell walls of fungi, and enzymes called nucleases, which break apart the ribonucleic acid of viruses.
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