Life Science Leader: Zinc Fingers Point The Way Forwards

In October’s issue of Life Science Leader, Kevin Kayser, manager of the Cell Culture Engineering group at SAFC, gives an overview of Zinc Finger Nuclease (ZFN) technology, an area that has, since its introduction, helped facilitate rapid advances within the field of targeted genome editing.

SAFC's Kevin Kayser

ZFNs are custom-engineered fusion proteins that bind DNA in a targeted way to create double-stranded breaks at precise points, enabling the genome to be edited.  Modifications, insertions or deletions can be made to the genome, a development that facilitates the rapid creation of genetically modified cell lines that give greater insight into genetic diseases and their associated pathway biologies. Such knowledge can be potentially used to develop therapeutic treatments for  all manner of diseases and conditions that have identified genetic markers.

In the article, Kayser looks at the history of the technology since its inception in the 1990s, how it works, what has happened in terms of the commercial development of the technology and the potential for applications in areas such as the creation of ‘ideal’ cell lines for biotherapeutic manufacturing, which can “lead to real economic benefits to the biopharma manufacturer by producing better quality products more quickly and efficiently.”  You can read the full Life Science Leader article here

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