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Logo of bmcgenoBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Genomics
BMC Genomics. 2009; 10: 421.
Published online 2009 September 9. doi:  10.1186/1471-2164-10-421
PMCID: PMC2746237

ZifBASE: a database of zinc finger proteins and associated resources



Information on the occurrence of zinc finger protein motifs in genomes is crucial to the developing field of molecular genome engineering. The knowledge of their target DNA-binding sequences is vital to develop chimeric proteins for targeted genome engineering and site-specific gene correction. There is a need to develop a computational resource of zinc finger proteins (ZFP) to identify the potential binding sites and its location, which reduce the time of in vivo task, and overcome the difficulties in selecting the specific type of zinc finger protein and the target site in the DNA sequence.


ZifBASE provides an extensive collection of various natural and engineered ZFP. It uses standard names and a genetic and structural classification scheme to present data retrieved from UniProtKB, GenBank, Protein Data Bank, ModBase, Protein Model Portal and the literature. It also incorporates specialized features of ZFP including finger sequences and positions, number of fingers, physiochemical properties, classes, framework, PubMed citations with links to experimental structures (PDB, if available) and modeled structures of natural zinc finger proteins. ZifBASE provides information on zinc finger proteins (both natural and engineered ones), the number of finger units in each of the zinc finger proteins (with multiple fingers), the synergy between the adjacent fingers and their positions. Additionally, it gives the individual finger sequence and their target DNA site to which it binds for better and clear understanding on the interactions of adjacent fingers. The current version of ZifBASE contains 139 entries of which 89 are engineered ZFPs, containing 3-7F totaling to 296 fingers. There are 50 natural zinc finger protein entries ranging from 2-13F, totaling to 307 fingers. It has sequences and structures from literature, Protein Data Bank, ModBase and Protein Model Portal. The interface is cross linked to other public databases like UniprotKB, PDB, ModBase and Protein Model Portal and PubMed for making it more informative.


A database is established to maintain the information of the sequence features, including the class, framework, number of fingers, residues, position, recognition site and physio-chemical properties (molecular weight, isoelectric point) of both natural and engineered zinc finger proteins and dissociation constant of few. ZifBASE can provide more effective and efficient way of accessing the zinc finger protein sequences and their target binding sites with the links to their three-dimensional structures. All the data and functions are available at the advanced web-based search interface

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