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One of the most common regulatory elements is the GC box and the related GT/CACC box, which are widely distributed in promoters, enhancers and locus control regions of housekeeping as well as tissue-specific genes. For long it was generally thought that Sp1 is the major factor acting through these motifs. Recent discoveries have shown that Sp1 is only one of many transcription factors binding and acting through these elements. Sp1 simply represents the first identified and cloned protein of a family of transcription factors characterised by a highly conserved DNA-binding domain consisting of three zinc fingers. Currently this new family of transcription factors has at least 16 different mammalian members. Here, we will summarise and discuss recent advances that have been directed towards understanding the biological role of these proteins.