Zinc Finger Nucleases (ZFNs), the most well-known of the nuclease-based methods, are engineered DNA binding proteins that can be designed to bind to a wide variety of DNA sequences and function by introducing a double stranded break at a specified location in the genome. In order to create a double-strand break at a specific location, two individual ZFNs are introduced into the cell at the same time and they each bind to opposite strands of the DNA and the nuclease domain dimerizes to cause the cut.
Once the cut has been achieved, the cell activates repair pathways to fix the damage. The non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) pathway is error-prone, and this can be particularly useful to introduce disruptions in the coding region of a gene. Small insertions and deletions are commonly introduced at the cut site, often resulting in disruption of the coding frame of an associated gene. ZFNs are therefore particularly effective at knocking out gene function.
Horizon has partnered with Sigma-Aldrich to obtain the highest quality ZFNs available for custom gene-editing projects.