Why do bacteria produce restriction enzymes?
Bacteria are one of the most known microorganisms that exist in the living world. These single celled prokaryotes come in various shapes, which can range from spheres to rods and spirals. Bacteria are omnipotent in every aspect of the Earth. May it on soil, water, springs, radioactive wastes, as well as in other living organisms such as plants, animals and humans, bacteria are able to adequately thrive in any given environment. Although the term itself has been negatively annotated to cause diseases or illnesses, studies have otherwise, proven that bacteria are vital in recycling nutrients, with many steps in nutrient cycles depending on these organisms.
One basic characteristic among bacteria, regardless of type, is its ability to produce restriction enzymes. Restriction enzymes are one type of enzymes that basically cuts double-stranded or single stranded DNA at specific recognition nucleotide sequences known as restriction sites. Within each bacterial host, the restriction enzymes function by cutting up foreign DNA in a process called restriction. A methyl group is then added to the host DNA to protect it from the restriction enzyme’s activity. The restriction enzymes are produced by the bacteria because it serves as the immune system of the bacteria. Just like what have, the bacteria also possess its own form of immune system via the production of restriction enzymes. These types of enzymes have the primary function of recognizing very ery specific patterns in DNA chains and break the DNA at those patterns. When a virus injects its DNA into a bacterium, the restriction enzyme recognizes the viral DNA and cuts it, effectively destroying the virus before it can reproduce.
Bacteria are one living entity that may cause harm but can also play significant roles in nature and in the general existence of living organisms.