Designer Zinc Finger Proteins: Tools for Creating Artificial DNA-Binding Functional ProteinsReview
The design of artificial functional DNA-binding proteins has long been a goal for several research laboratories. The zinc finger proteins, which typically contain many fingers linked in tandem fashion, are some of the most studied DNA-binding proteins. The zinc finger protein's tandem arrangement and its the ability to recognize a wide variety of DNA sequences make it an attractive framework to design novel DNA-binding peptides/proteins. Our laboratory has utilized several design strategies to create novel zinc finger peptides by re-engineering the C2H2-type zinc finger motif of transcription factor Sp1. Some of the engineered zinc fingers have shown nuclease and catalytic functional properties. Based on these results, we present the design strategies for the creation of novel zinc fingers.