The alliance combines Sigma's global marketing capabilities and with Sangamo's substantial expertise in the field of ZFPs.
ZFPs are the dominant class of naturally occurring proteins known as transcription factors and are found in the nucleus of every cell. They bind to DNA to regulate gene expression. Though there are many kinds of transcription factors, only ZFPs are amenable to engineering and precise targeting to a particular gene or genes of interest.
By engineering ZFPs that can recognize a specific DNA sequence, Sangamo scientists have created ZFP nucleases or ZFNs™ that facilitate efficient and highly specific gene modification and ZFP transcription factors or ZFP TFs™ that specifically control gene expression and consequently, cell function.
Scientists at Sigma-Aldrich and Sangamo will use ZFNs like precision surgical instruments to modify genes in cells and to develop and market ZFP products for broad use in numerous laboratory research reagent applications. Among the anticipated applications are cell lines with enhanced protein production performance, panels of knock-out cell lines for drug discovery, as well as stem cell and transgenic animal models.