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Chemicon, Stratagene, Harvard, Stanford Among Recent US Patent Winners

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Chemicon International has been awarded US Patent No. 6,890,745, "Protease specific cleavable luciferases and methods of use thereof."

Jay Leng is the sole inventor listed on the patent.

According to its abstract, the patent protects methods and compositions useful in detecting protease activity in a sample, as well as methods of identifying agents that modulate protease activity. The methods and compositions provide a modified luciferase polynucleotide sequence and a luciferase polypeptide containing protease recognition sequences, wherein cleavage of the recognition sequence by a protease inhibits luciferase activity. The patent also protects methods and compositions for detecting and modulating caspase activity and apoptosis, the abstract states.


Stratagene has been awarded US Patent No. 6,890,750, "Composition and methods utilizing stable reporter cell lines for detection of chop-dependent signal transduction."

Chao-Feng Zheng is the sole inventor listed on the patent.

According to its abstract, the patent protects compositions and methods which utilize a cell line comprising a stably integrated recombinant nucleic acid construct comprising: a reporter gene operably linked to a recognition sequence for a sequence-specific DNA-binding protein; and a stably integrated recombinant nucleic acid construct comprising a sequence encoding a fusion protein. The fusion protein comprises a sequence-specific DNA-binding domain that specifically binds the recognition sequence, and a conditionally active transactivation domain of CHOP, wherein binding of the fusion protein to the recognition sequence results in transactivation of the reporter gene when the transactivation domain fused to the DNA binding domain is activated, the abstract states.


Harvard College has been awarded US Patent No. 6,890,933, "Kinesin inhibitors."

Inventors listed on the patent are Yan Feng, Tarun Kapoor, Thomas Mayer, Zoltan Maliga, Timothy Mitchison, and Justin Yarrow.

According to its abstract, the patent protects compounds, compositions, methods and systems for inhibiting cell growth. More specifically, the patent protects methods, compounds, and compositions which are capable of inhibiting mitosis in metabolically active cells. Compounds, compositions, and methods of the present invention inhibit the activity of a protein involved in the assembly and maintenance of the mitotic spindle. One class of proteins which acts on the mitotic spindle is the family of mitotic kinesins, a subset of the kinesin superfamily, the abstract states.


Stanford University and Harvard College have been awarded US Patent No. 6,891,021, "Regulated apoptosis."

Inventors listed on the patent are Gerald Crabtree, Stuart Schreiber, David Spencer, Thomas Wandless, and Peter Belshaw.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a general procedure for the regulated (inducible) dimerization or oligomerization of intracellular proteins, and methods and materials for using that procedure to regulatably initiate cell-specific apoptosis (programmed cell death) in genetically engineered cells.