homing endonuclease

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A site-specific DNA endonuclease, usually encoded by an open reading frame (q.v.) within an intron (q.v.) or an intein (q.v.) sequence, which mediates the horizontal transfer of the DNA sequence that encodes it to a new genomic location. It does this by introducing double-stranded breaks at or near the insertion site (home) of an intron or intein DNA in alleles that lack these intervening genetic elements. Homing endonucleases can be distinguished from other site-specific endonucleases based on their structural and biochemical properties.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics.

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