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Designer zinc-fingers

Understanding of the DNA-binding characteristics of zinc-finger protein (ZFP) transcription factors has made it possible to design ZFPs to bind to specific target sequences. These designed ZFPs have been used effectively in cell culture experiments. In an Advanced Online Publication in Nature Medicine, Rebar et al. report the use of engineered ZFPs as tools to stimulate angiogenesis in vivo (Nature Medicine, 4 November 2002; DOI:10.1038/nm795). They designed ZFPs to regulate the gene encoding vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A). Adenoviral delivery of the ZFPs into mice resulted in elevated VEGF-A expression that caused induction of angiogenesis and accelerated wound repair in the skin. This study demonstrates the promising possibility of using designed transcription factors for specific gene therapy approaches.


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Weitzman, J.B. Designer zinc-fingers. Genome Biol 3, spotlight-20021111-02 (2002).

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