New Technology of Studying Protein Structure/Folding Functions in Living Mammalian Cells

Case ID:
07-829

This invention is a new protein transduction method for efficient delivery of exogenous proteins into mammalian cells.  In contrast to known protein transduction methods, this new approach has the capability of targeting transduced proteins to different cellular compartments, as well as protecting the proteins from degradation by cellular proteases.

Background & Unmet Need:

Bacterial protein expression suffers from improper protein folding that can lead to a variety of diseases such as cystic fibrosis and Huntington’s disease.  In addition, bacterially expressed proteins lack post-transcriptional modifications, which may be critical to protein functions.  Current technology only permits the study of protein structure and folding at atomic resolution in the test tube.  However, there is no technology currently that allows for the study of protein structure and folding at atomic resolution in the living cells.

 

Technology Description:

Our researchers have developed a new technology that allows for the study of protein structure/folding/functions in the living cells.  This new technology involves expressing a protein using bacteria and labeling the protein with probes.  Researchers can then modify the recombinant protein with a special reagent that allows for the transfer of the modified protein into the living mammalian cells.  This will also allow for the study of protein traffic in the cells.  Furthermore, this new technology permits high-resolution structural biology techniques to be combined with cell biology techniques and provides a foundation for future applications of protein transduction technology, atomic resolution cell biology, and protein drug therapy to treat human disease.

 

Commercial Applications:

  • Research tool to study protein structure and folding in cell NMR and cell fluorescence
  • Research tool to study protein trafficking in cells

 

Stage of Development:

Preclinical

 

Competitive Advantages:

  • Revolutionizes modern high resolution structural biology and extends structural and folding studies of proteins in living cells
  • Permits high-resolution biology techniques to be combined with cell biology techniques

 

Intellectual Property Status:

Patent application filed

 

Related Publications or Citations of Work:

None

 

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Joan Dunbar
Associate Vice President for Technology Commercialization
Wayne State University
(313) 577-5542
jcdunbar@med.wayne.edu
Inventors:
Qianqian Li
Jianjun Wang
Keywords:
Protein