Exonucleases, also known as restriction enzymes, are a group of esterases that cleave nucleotides from RNA or DNA chains by hydrolyzing the phosphodiester bonds at either the 3' or 5' terminus. Exonucleases can exist individually, for example RNase D, or as part of a larger complex, for example Mre11 exists in a multimeric complex with Rad50 and Nbs1. Exonucleases are nuclear enzymes and are vital for DNA synthesis, proofreading and repair.
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