DNA Modification & Modifying Enzymes

a DNA double helix with a segment being removed and modified

Modifying DNA Sequences

DNA is the central information storage system for all organisms, excluding some viruses that only have RNA as their genetic material. It was first discovered in the late 1860s by Swiss chemist Frederich Miescher.

However, decades passed and several notable discoveries were made before DNA’s importance was realized and appreciated. Among these discoveries was the unearthing of its helical structure in 1953 by Watson and Crick, using Rosalind Franklin’s clear x-ray patterns.

That said, genetic modification wouldn’t come about until 1973, when American biochemists Stanley N. Cohen and Herbert W. Boyer invented recombinant-DNA technology and subsequently revolutionized the way the scientific community looks at DNA.

Genetic modification, also referred to as DNA Modification or genetic engineering, is a process that involves base modifications or alte rations in the microbial, mammalian, or human genome to achieve targeted goals.

The technique has several applications, including:

  • Synthesis of specific proteins and hormones
  • Developing targeted therapies for several human diseases
  • Crop improvement

DNA modification has allowed researchers to edit the genomic DNA of organisms by using different biotechnology methods, including recombinant DNA, gene targeting, or genome editing.

Learn more about DNA modification and the consumables and reagents required for cloning experiments and studies.

DNA Modification Posts

DNase: Definition & Overview

What Is DNase? Deoxyribonuclease (DNase) is a class of nuclease enzymes that cleaves the DNA molecule. It breaks the phosphodiester bond formed between two nucleotides of dsDNA or ssDNA, by cleaving e…

T4 Polynucleotide Kinase: Definition & Overview

Definition of T4 Polynucleotide Kinase Nucleic acids can be modified at the polynucleotide level through many enzymatic reactions. It includes methylation of both DNA and RNA, glycosylation of DNA, an…

Overview of Recombinase: Definition & Functions

Definition of Recombinase Recombinase is a family of enzymes that catalyze site-specific recombination events within DNA.  Site-specific DNA recombination is a process in which DNA strands are br…

An Overview of Protein Kinases: Definition & Functions

Regulation and Function of Protein Kinase There are about 500 protein kinase encoding genes in the human genome which represents 2% of all the human genes. Kinase is the name given to an enzyme that a…

Exonuclease: Overview & Definition

Exonuclease Definition In biochemistry, nucleases are a diverse class of hydrolytic enzymes that carry out hydrolysis of phosphodiester bonds of nucleic acids — DNA and RNA. Nucleases attack the hydro…

What Are Endonucleases? Definition & Functions

What Are Endonucleases? Various enzymes are involved in tampering with DNA by breaking and forming the bonds between nucleotides. One is a nuclease, a class of enzyme that hydrolyzes the polynucleotid…

What Is DNA Methyltransferase?

Methyltransferase Definition Methyltransferases are a group of enzymes that add a methyl group to their substrates. Over 95% of this group of enzymes use S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) as their methyl don…

What is RNase? The Basics of Ribonuclease

What is RNase? RNases (or ribonucleases) are a class of hydrolytic enzymes that catalyzes both the in vivo and in vitro degradation of ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules into smaller components. The nuc…

DNA Modification Explained

What is DNA Modification? DNA modification, also referred to as genetic modification or genetic engineering, is defined as the alteration of the genetic makeup or original genome of organisms that wou…

What is DNA Ligase? Definition & Role

What is DNA Ligase? A Brief History DNA ligase is an enzyme that joins DNA strands through the formation of phosphodiester bonds in a process called DNA ligation. The bond in double-stranded DNA is fo…