Definition of ligase in English:



  • An enzyme which brings about ligation of DNA or another substance.

    • ‘These DNA-binding proteins include polymerases, helicases, nucleases, isomerases, ligases, histones, and others.’
    • ‘After all, in nature we can and do observe bacteria using restriction endonucleases and ligases to cut DNA.’
    • ‘This study shows that in a competition between the two enzymes, DNA ligase trumps the flap endonuclease in capturing bubbles and creating expanded tracts.’
    • ‘A number of conjugating enzymes and protein ligases are in the cell, and various combinations confer substrate specificity on the system.’
    • ‘The E.coli bacterium has an enzyme, DNA ligase, which can be used to repair these nicks in the sugar-phosphate backbone of DNA chains to form an intact double-strand.’


1960s from Latin ligare ‘to bind’ + -ase.