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Mol Cells. 2006 Jun 30;21(3):376-80.

One-step selection of artificial transcription factors using an in vivo screening system.

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ToolGen, Inc., Daejeon 305-390, Korea.


Gene expression is regulated in large part at the level of transcription under the control of sequence-specific transcriptional regulatory proteins. Therefore, the ability to affect gene expression at will using sequence-specific artificial transcription factors would provide researchers with a powerful tool for biotechnology research and drug discovery. Previously, we isolated 56 novel sequence-specific DNA-binding domains from the human genome by in vivo selection. We hypothesized that these domains might be more useful for regulating gene expression in higher eukaryotic cells than those selected in vitro using phage display. However, an unpredictable factor, termed the "context effect", is associated with the construction of novel zinc finger transcription factors--- DNA-binding proteins that bind specifically to 9-base pair target sequences. In this study, we directly selected active artificial zinc finger proteins from a zinc finger protein library. Direct in vivo selection of constituents of a zinc finger protein library may be an efficient method for isolating multi-finger DNA binding proteins while avoiding the context effect.

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