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In biochemistry, a ligase (from the Latin verb ligāre — "to bind" or "to glue together") is an enzyme that can catalyse the joining of the sugar phosphate backbones of Okazaki fragments of DNA. Generally ligase catalyses the following reaction:
where the lower case letters signify the small, pendant groups.
The common names of ligase enzymes often include the word "ligase", such as DNA ligase, an enzyme commonly used in molecular biology laboratories to join together DNA fragments. Other common names for ligases include synthetase, because they are used to synthesize new molecules, or carboxylase when they are used to add carbon dioxide to a molecule.
Note that "synthetase" should not be confused with synthases, as synthases do not use energy from nucleoside triphosphates (such as ATP, GTP, CTP, TTP and UTP) and belong to the lyase group, while synthetases do use nucleoside triphosphates.
Ligases are classified as EC 6 in the EC number classification of enzymes. Ligases can be further classified into six subclasses:
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ligase". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|