Restriction enzymes or restriction endonucleases (RE) are the enzymes that are found in the bacteria and are harvested from them for their use in research and commercial aspects. These enzymes cut the deoxyribonucleotide (DNA) at specific nucleotide sequences and the biological function of these enzymes is to protect cells from foreign DNA . Nomeclature for these enzymes is based on the first letter of the genus followed by first two letters of the species and name of the bacteria of origin. These enzymes find applications in various research activities involving molecular biology techniques.
For instance, these enzymes are used as key reagents in processes such as restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), genomic mapping, several recombinant procedures and DNA sequencing. There are four classes of restriction endonucleases namely types I, II, III and IV of which class II enzymes are the most popular and more useful as compared to others. The reason being the specific determination of the DNA sequences and generate termini with 5’ phosphate and 3’ hydroxyl groups and are capable of recognizing non-palindromic sequences. There has been continuous evolution of the new prototype activities that render continuous updates about new recognition sites along with the commercial availability. REBASE is such one database that provides monthly updates about the above mentioned factors.
Till date more than 10,000 bacteria are screened for the presence of restriction enzymes and currently there are more than 2,500 restriction enzymes have been discovered along with over 250 distinct specificities in sequences. The microorganisms that produce RE also produce DNA methyltransferases and this feature protects their own DNA from cleavage.
These enzymes are used in conventional cloning, deciphering epigenetic modifications, construction of DNA libraries and in vivo gene editing. The market for restriction endonucleases can be segmented by various types that are available commercially and the respective application areas. Companies such as New England Biolabs, Inc. and Thermo Fisher Scientific engage in development and marketing of various types of restriction enzymes (A-Z). For instance, New England Biolabs, Inc. offers restriction enzymes in variable sizes such as 500 and 2,500 units. These units are priced at USD 57.00 for one unit. In addition, Thermo Fisher Scientific also offers these by FastDigest (176) brand and Conventional enzymes.
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Factors such as regulatory policies and product approvals govern the market growth. Furthermore, it can be classifies by the applications and end users. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies along with academic research institutes utilize these REs in various activities. Geographically, North America and Europe are the highest revenue generators in this market owing to increasing research and development activities followed by the presence of manufacturers in these regions. On the other hand Asia Pacific and Rest of the World (RoW) regions present lucrative opportunities for the growth of this market due to increasing research projects funding by the respective governments followed by increasing commercial production of these enzymes.
There is a tremendous growth potential in acceptance of these enzymes owing to increasing implementation of molecular biology techniques and processes followed by increasing research and development activities making use of these enzymes. On the other hand, factors such as high cost of downstream activities coupled with variable reliability and accuracy of these enzymes are some factors that might restrain the market growth. Agilent Technologies, Inc., Genetix Biotech Asia Pvt. Ltd., New England Biolabs, Inc., ThermoFisher Scientific, Inc., and Promega Corporation are some of the key market players operating in this market.