Recent protein engineering efforts have generated artificial transcription factors that bind new target DNA sequences and enzymes that modify DNA at new target sites. Zinc-finger-based transcription factors are favored targets for design; important technological advances in their construction and numerous biotechnological applications have been reported. Other notable advances include the generation of endonucleases and recombinases with altered specificities, made by innovative combinatorial and evolutionary protein engineering strategies. An unexpectedly high tolerance to mutation in the active sites of DNA polymerases is being exploited to engineer polymerases to incorporate artificial nucleotides or to display other, nonnatural activities.
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