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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Aug 15; 89(16): 7345–7349.

Toward rules relating zinc finger protein sequences and DNA binding site preferences.


Zinc finger proteins of the Cys2-His2 type consist of tandem arrays of domains, where each domain appears to contact three adjacent base pairs of DNA through three key residues. We have designed and prepared a series of variants of the central zinc finger within the DNA binding domain of Sp1 by using information from an analysis of a large data base of zinc finger protein sequences. Through systematic variations at two of the three contact positions (underlined), relatively specific recognition of sequences of the form 5'-GGGGN(G or T)GGG-3' has been achieved. These results provide the basis for rules that may develop into a code that will allow the design of zinc finger proteins with preselected DNA site specificity.

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