The present invention relates to the discovery of a novel restriction/modification system in Caldicellulosiruptor bescii. The discovered restriction enzyme is a HaeIII-like restriction enzyme that possesses a thermophilic activity profile. The restriction/modification system also includes a methyltransferase, M.CbeI, that methylates at least one cytosine residue in the CbeI recognition sequence to m.sup.4C. Thus, the invention provides, in various aspects, isolated CbeI or M.CbeI polypeptides, or biologically active fragments thereof; isolated polynucleotides that encode the CbeI or M.CbeI polypeptides or biologically active fragments thereof, including expression vectors that include such polynucleotide sequences; methods of digesting DNA using a CbeI polypeptide; methods of treating a DNA molecule using a M.CbeI polypeptide; and methods of transforming a Caldicellulosiruptor cell.
The present invention was made with government support under Grant No. DE-AC05-000R22725, awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy, BioEnergy Science Center. The Government has certain rights in this invention.