The University of California has been awarded US Patent No. 6,911,314, "Screening for drugs that affect TNF receptor releasing enzyme."
Inventors listed on the patent are Tetsuya Gatanaga and Gale Granger.
According to its abstract, the patent protects a procedure by which the biological effects of the cytokine TNF are mediated by binding to receptors on the surface of cells. The patent describes new proteins and polynucleotides that promote enzymatic cleavage and release of TNF receptors, the abstract states. Also protected are methods for identifying additional compounds that influence TNF receptor shedding. As the active ingredient in a pharmaceutical composition, the products of described either increase or decrease TNF signal transduction, thereby alleviating the pathology of disease, the abstract states.