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Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, J & J Are Awarded US Patents

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The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation has received US Patent No. 6,730,820, “Agent and method for modulation of cell migration.” The patent discloses a GON-1 migration protein in C. elegans and a gon-1 gene encoding the same. The protein shows structural similarity to one produced by an up-regulated RNA in an advanced tumor cell, the abstract states. Although the tumor cell protein has not previously been identified as having any role in cell migration, the patent discloses that the related GON-1 protein is required for cell migration and is involved in shaping tissues or organs. It is deduced that the protein is also a target for modulators of cell migration and tissue shaping, the abstract states.


Johnson & Johnson has received US Patent No. 6,730,480, “Sphingosine kinase enzyme.” The patent generally relates to novel protein molecules and to derivatives, analogues, chemical equivalents, and mimetics thereof capable of modulating cellular activity and, in particular, modulating cellular activity via the modulation of signal transduction, the abstract states. In addition, the invention relates to human sphingosine kinase and to derivatives, analogues, chemical equivalents and mimetics thereof, and contemplates genetic sequences encoding said protein molecules and derivatives, analogues, chemical equivalents and mimetics thereof. The molecules of the present invention are useful in a range of therapeutic, prophylactic and diagnostic applications, the abstract states.

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