Deoxyribonuclease II

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deoxyribonuclease II alpha
Alt. symbolsDNASE2A, DRN2, DNL, DNL2
NCBI gene1777
Other data
EC number3.1.22.1
LocusChr. 19 p13.2
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deoxyribonuclease II beta
NCBI gene58511
Other data
EC number3.1.22.1
LocusChr. 1 p22.3
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Deoxyribonuclease II (EC, DNase II, pancreatic DNase II, deoxyribonucleate 3'-nucleotidohydrolase, pancreatic DNase II, acid deoxyribonuclease, acid DNase) is an endonuclease that hydrolyzes phosphodiester linkages of deoxyribonucleotide in native and denatured DNA, yielding products with 3'-phosphates and 5'-hydroxyl ends, which occurs as a result of single-strand cleaving mechanism.[1] As the name implies, it functions optimally at acid pH because it is commonly found in low pH environment of lysosomes.

The action of DNase occurs in three phases. The initial phase introduces multiple nicks in the phosphodiester backbone. The second phase produces acid-soluble nucleotides. The third phase, which is the terminal phase, consists of hyperchromic shift resulting from reduction of oligonucleotides.[1]

There are several known DNases II, including:

  • DNase II alpha (usually known as DNase II), which is thought to be ubiquitously expressed in human tissue.[2] It has been shown that a mutation in this enzyme of mice leads to DNA degradation by apoptosis.[3]
  • DNase II beta (also called DLAD, or DNase II-Like Acid DNase), which is mainly expressed in the eye lens and salivary glands. One of its functions is to clear DNA from eye lens. Low levels have also been detected in the lung, prostate and lymph nodes.[4] Deficiency of this enzyme in mice lead to the development of cataracts.


  1. ^ a b Bernardi G (1971). "Chapter 11: Spleen Acid Deoxyribonuclease". In Boyer PD (ed.). The Enzymes. Vol. 4 (3rd ed.). New York: Elsevier Science. pp. 271–287. doi:10.1016/S1874-6047(08)60371-6. ISBN 978-0-12-122704-3.
  2. ^ Yasuda T, Takeshita H, Iida R, Tsutsumi S, Nakajima T, Hosomi O, Nakashima Y, Mori S, Kishi K (July 1998). "Structure and organization of the human deoxyribonuclease II (DNase II) gene". Annals of Human Genetics. 62 (Pt 4): 299–305. doi:10.1046/j.1469-1809.1998.6240299.x. PMID 9924608. S2CID 27515872.
  3. ^ Varela-Ramirez A, Abendroth J, Mejia AA, Phan IQ, Lorimer DD, Edwards TE, Aguilera RJ (June 2017). "Structure of acid deoxyribonuclease". Nucleic Acids Research. 45 (10): 6217–6227. doi:10.1093/nar/gkx222. PMC 5449587. PMID 28369538.
  4. ^ Universal protein resource accession number Q8WZ79 for "DNASE2B – Deoxyribonuclease-2-beta precursor – Homo sapiens (Human) – DNASE2B gene & protein" at UniProt.

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