Cadus Technologies of New York City has been awarded US Patent 7,273,747, “Cell having amplified signal transduction pathway responses and uses therefore.”
The inventors listed on the abstract John Manfredi, Benjamin Benton, and Meng-Yu Wu.
The patent describes an invention that provides recombinant cells that have been engineered so that ligand stimulation of a receptor expressed by the cells leads to amplified signal transduction responses. In one embodiment, the receptor-expressing cells have been engineered to carry a heterologous DNA construct comprising a gene encoding a protein that activates the signal transduction pathway. This gene is operatively linked to a promoter that is responsive to activation of the signal transduction pathway. Stimulation of the receptor by a ligand leads to expression of the heterologous DNA construct encoding the protein that activates the signal transduction pathway such that signals generated by ligand binding to the receptor are amplified. Preferred cells are yeast cells expressing heterologous G protein-coupled receptors functionally coupled to the yeast pheromone response pathway and overexpressing Ste5p, Ste4p, Ste12p, Ste11p, or a dominant truncation allele of Ste20, via a pheromone-responsive promoter.
The invention also discloses cells expressing a heterologous receptor, in which an endogenous gene encoding a protein that negatively regulates an endogenous signal transduction pathway is mutated to render the protein nonfunctional by amplifying the signals generated by ligand binding. The invention further provides cells expressing a heterologous receptor, in which an endogenous gene encoding a protein that positively regulates an endogenous signal transduction pathway is mutated to increase the sensitivity of the pathway to ligand stimulation. Methods of using the cells of the invention to identify receptor modulators are also provided.
Clarient of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., has been awarded US Patent 7,272,252, “Automated system for combining bright field and fluorescent microscopy.”
The inventors listed on the patent are Jose De La Torre-Bueno and James McBride.
According to the abstract, the patent discusses a method for automated analysis of transmitted and fluorescently labeled biological samples, which the apparatus automatically scans at a low magnification to acquire images. The images are then analyzed to determine candidate cell objects of interest. Once candidate objects of interest are identified, further analysis is conducted automatically to process and collect data from samples having different staining agents.