Sigma-Aldrich and Sangamo BioSciences formed an alliance focused on the development of laboratory research reagents based upon Sangamo’s ZFP technology. The partnership combines Sigma’s global marketing capabilities and expertise in providing products and kits for scientific research with Sangamo’s expertise in the field of ZFPs, according to officials at both firms.
ZFPs are transcription factors that 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, according to Sangamo.
“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,” explains Edward Lanphier, Sangamo’s president and CEO.
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 lab 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 novel stem cell and transgenic animal models.