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Let your fingers do the walking

Jonathan B Weitzman

Author Affiliations

Genome Biology 2003, 4:spotlight-20030218-01  doi:10.1186/gb-spotlight-20030218-01

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:


Published:18 February 2003

© 2003 BioMed Central Ltd

Research news

Transcription factors are often modular in nature, containing sequence-specific DNA-binding domains and transactivation domains. In an Advanced Online Publication in Nature Biotechnology Kwang-Hee Bae and colleagues at ToolGen Inc in South Korea, report the generation of "designer transcription factors" with specific binding activities (Nature Biotechnology, 18 February 2003, doi:10.1038/nbt796). A modified one-hybrid screen in yeast selected zinc-finger motifs with specific DNA-binding properties. The system was used to screen a library of over 2,000 factors that were derived from the Zif268 transcription factor and contained variant zinc-finger sequences isolated from the human genome; 56 zinc fingers with distinct DNA-binding specificities were isolated. Bae et al. shuffled the selected zinc-finger domains and tested them as transcription factors. They found that the 'natural' human zinc-finger domains function better than 'artificial' engineered zinc fingers. The designer factors could also regulate expression of a chosen endogenous genomic locus.

References

  1. [http://www.nature.com/naturebiotechnology] webcite

    Nature Biotechnology

  2. [http://www.toolgen.com] webcite

    ToolGen Inc.

  3. Zinc finger proteins as designer transcription factors.

    PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL

  4. Selection of peptides that functionally replace a zinc finger in the Sp1 transcription factor by using a yeast combinatorial library.

    PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text | PubMed Central Full Text OpenURL