Medical Definition of Cos site
A 12-nucleotide bases-long segment of single stranded DNA that exists at both ends of the bacteriophage lambda's double-stranded genome.
The two cos sites at the ends of the genome are complementary to one another so that the genome can become circular once the virus has infected a host bacterium. The circular genome can then be duplicated continuously until there are many repeats of it strung together, the cos sites show the virus where to cut them apart right before they are packaged into individual capsids as new progeny viruses ready to infect more host cells.
(10 Nov 1998)
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