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Cys2His2 zinc fingers (“zinc fingers”) define the most common transcription factor family in organisms ranging from yeast to humans. “Designer” zinc finger proteins with purposefully re-engineered DNA-binding specificities provide a broadly applicable technology for targeting functional domains to essentially ANY gene of interest in virtually ANY cell type. Zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) are an extremely powerful tool for performing targeted genomic manipulation in a variety of cell types from Drosophila to humans. ZFNs consist of an engineered DNA-binding zinc finger domain linked to a non-specific endonuclease domain and can introduce double-stranded breaks (DSBs) that stimulate both homologous and non-homologous recombination, processes that can be harnessed to perform genomic manipulation. The capability to alter any genomic locus of interest will have tremendous potential in both research and gene therapy applications.

The Zinc Finger (ZF) Consortium was established to ensure and to promote continued research and development of engineered zinc finger technology. The Consortium is committed to developing resources, software, and other tools for engineering zinc fingers and for performing genome engineering that are robust, user-friendly, and publicly available to the academic scientific community.