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[noo-klee-eys, -eyz, nyoo-] /ˈnu kliˌeɪs, -ˌeɪz, ˈnyu-/
noun, Biochemistry
any enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of nucleic acids.
1900-05; nucle(ic) + -ase Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for nucleases


any of a group of enzymes that hydrolyse nucleic acids to simple nucleotides
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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nucleases in Medicine

nuclease nu·cle·ase (nōō'klē-ās', -āz', nyōō'-)
Any of several enzymes, such as endonuclease and exonuclease, that hydrolize nucleic acids.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for nucleases


any enzyme that cleaves nucleic acids. Nucleases, which belong to the class of enzymes called hydrolases, are usually specific in action, ribonucleases acting only upon ribonucleic acids (RNA) and deoxyribonucleases acting only upon deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA). Some enzymes having a general action (such as phosphoesterases, which hydrolyze phosphoric acid esters) can be called nucleases because nucleic acids are susceptible to their action. Nucleases are found in both animals and plants.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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