Croonian Prize Lecture
By Sir Aaron Klug OM FRS
It has long been the goal of molecular biologists to design DNA binding proteins for the specific control of gene expression. The zinc finger design, discovered by Sir Aaron Klug 20 years ago, is ideally suited for such purposes, discriminating between closely related sequences both in vitro and in vivo. Whereas other DNA binding proteins generally make use of the 2-fold symmetry of the double helix, zinc fingers do not, and so can be linked linearly in tandem to recognise DNA sequences of different lengths, with high fidelity and affinity.
In this lecture, Nobel Prize winner Sir Aaron Klug will discuss recent developments including trials using VEGF-activating ZFPs to treat human peripheral arterial disease by stimulating vascular growth. Other examples of therapeutic development programs are those on neuropathic pain, macular degeneration and producing permanently modified uninfectable T-cells to combat both HIV and opportunistic infections.