Standard Article


  1. Alfred Pingoud,
  2. Gregor Meiss

Published Online: 3 MAY 2005

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0003895



How to Cite

Pingoud, A. and Meiss, G. 2005. Ribonucleases. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 MAY 2005


Ribonucleases are a very heterogeneous group of enzymes, both with respect to structure and function. They all catalyse the cleavage of phosphodiester bonds, endonucleolytically or exonucleolytically, with more or less specificity. They occur ubiquitously and are involved, directly or indirectly, in almost every cellular process.


  • classes of ribonucleases;
  • biological functions;
  • sequences and structures;
  • catalytic mechanisms;
  • specificity;
  • ribonuclease inhibitors;
  • application of ribonucleases