DNA binding by proteins

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Science  02 Sep 1988:
Vol. 241, Issue 4870, pp. 1182-1187
DOI: 10.1126/science.2842864


Study of proteins that recognize specific DNA sequences has yielded much information, but the field is still in its infancy. Already two major structural motifs have been discovered, the helix-turn-helix and zinc finger, and numerous examples of DNA-binding proteins containing either of them are known. The restriction enzyme Eco RI uses yet a different motif. Additional motifs are likely to be found as well. There is a growing understanding of some of the physical chemistry involved in protein-DNA binding, but much remains to be learned before it becomes possible to engineer a protein that binds to a specific DNA sequence.