Zinc fingers function in helping some proteins that bind to DNA recognize that DNA. A zinc finger is a specialized protein group that is characterized by a single zinc atom linked to four cysteine residues or two histidine residues and two cysteine residues holding that part of the polypeptide in a finger-shaped loop.

From the BioTech Dictionary at http://biotech.icmb.utexas.edu/. For further information see the BioTech homenode.