Genome editing is the precise targeted modification of the nucleotide sequence of the genome.
Over the last decade programmable DNA binding proteins have been developed that can guide a nuclease to cut at any targeted point in the genome.
The Zinc Finger Nuclease (ZFN) technique uses natural proteins that bind to DNA in a sequence-specific way, allowing the fused nuclease to cut as a “DNA scissor’ at that specific location.
This system consists of:
- a “Zinc Finger” domain (recognising a sequence of specific base pairs triplets in the DNA sequence)
- a nuclease that cuts double-stranded DNA
- EFSA Scientific opinion addressing the safety assessment of plants developed using Zinc Finger Nuclease 3 and other Site-Directed Nucleases with similar function (2012)