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palindrome

Pronunciation: pal'in-drom

Definition: In molecular biology, a self-complementary nucleic acid sequence; a sequence identical to its complementary strand, if both are “read” in the same 5' to 3' direction, or inverted repeating sequences running in opposite directions (5'-AGTTGA-3') on either side of an axis of symmetry; palindromes occur at sites of important reactions (binding sites, sites cleaved by restriction enzymes); imperfect palindromes exist, as do interrupted palindromes that allow the formation of loops.

[G. palindromos, a running backward]

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© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.
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