using zinc fingers to control genes
Every cell in our body contains the same genes. Yet, neurons, muscle cells, and skin cells look and work differently. To specialize, our cells turn certain genes on or off when needed. Our cells often regulate gene expression by relying on zinc finger proteins, a class of transcription factors that recognize and bind to specific sequences of DNA code, enabling a cell to differentiate the targeted gene from thousands of others. The family of zinc finger proteins (ZFPs) are among the most common genes in the human genome.