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Recent Patents of Interest in Proteomics: Feb 14, 2008

US Patent 7,329,735. Flurorescent protein variants and methods for making same. Inventors: Roger Tsien; Robert Campbell; Geoffrey Baird. Assignee: The Regents of the University of California
Invention pertains to variant fluorescent proteins, in particular monomeric and dimeric forms of Anthozoan fluorescent proteins. Variants of such proteins where the variants have a reduced propensity to tetramize and form dimeric or monomeric structures are provided. Methods for making and using such protein monomers and dimers are described.

US Patent 7329,484. Retentate chromatography and protein chip arrays with applications in biology and medicine. Inventors: William Hutchens; Tai-Tung Yip. Assignee: Bio-Rad Laboratories
Provided are methods of retentate chromatography for resolving analytes in a sample. Analytes are adsorbed to a substrate under different selectivity conditions. Analytes retained on the substrate are detected by desorption spectrometry.

US Patent 7,329,388. Electrophoresis apparatus having staggered passage configuration. Inventor: Norberto Guzman. Assignee: Princeton Biochemicals
Invention pertains to an apparatus for the sequential analysis of single or multiple samples having one or more analytes in high or low concentrations. The apparatus is made up of a “relatively large-bore transport capillary which intersects  with a plurality of small-bore separation capillaries and includes a valve system,” according to the abstract. The invention allows for two or more dimensions for the “optimal separation of analytes,” the inventors say in the abstract.

US Patent 7,329,353. LC/MS method of analyzing high molecular weight proteins. Inventors: Thomas Dillon; Pavel Dondarenko; Gary Pipes; Margaret Ricci; Douglas Rehder; Gerd Kleemann. Assignee: Amgen
A novel reversed-phase LC-MS method for the analysis of high molecular weight proteins is described.

US Patent 7,327,454. Method and apparatus for detecting biomolecular interactions. Inventors: Brian Cunningham; Peter Li; Frank DiFilippi. Assignee: SRLL Biosystems
The method does not call for the use of labels and can be done in a high-throughput manner, the inventors say in the abstract. The apparatus for detecting biochemical interactions occurring on the surface of a biosensor includes a light source. An optical fiber is coupled to the light source, illuminating the biosensor. Another optical fiber detects a wavelength reflected from the biosensor, and a spectrometer determines spectra of a reflected signal from the biosensor.

US Patent 7,326,924. Method for obtaining high accuracy mass spectra using an ion trap mass analyzer and a method for determining and/or reducing chemical shift in mass analysis using an ion trap mass analyzer. Inventors: Li Ding; Francesco Brancia. Assignee: Shimadzu Research Laboratory
Invention pertains to a method using an ion trap mass analyzer to obtain high accuracy mass spectra. It includes “adjusting operating parameters of the analyzer to enable a reverse mass scan in a mass selective resonance ejection mode and setting the trapping field to trap ions in a mass-to-charge ratio, which has a lower limit close to the mass-to-charge ratio of an ion of interest,” according to the abstract. Determination of chemical shifts is done by adjusting operating parameters of the analyzer, enabling forward and reverse mass scans, and calibrating the spectra obtained from the forward and reverse mass scans.

US Patent 7,326,837. Clinical applications of crystalline diamond particles. Inventors: Chau-Chung Han; Huan-Cheng Chang; Sheng-Chung Lee; Wei-Hao Chen. Assignee: Academia Sinica
Invention pertains to a method of profiling proteins in a biological sample by mixing the sample with a diamond-based composition. The composition includes a diamond crystallite with a surface containing chemically derivatized surface groups and a polymer “having a plurality of functional groups non-covalently bound to the surface groups,” the inventors say in the abstract. Proteins in the sample are mixed with and allowed to bind to the composition. Bound proteins are profiled.

US Patent 7,326,776. Preparation and use of mixed mode solid substrates for chromatography adsorbents and biochip arrays. Inventors: Egisto Boschetti; Pierre Girot. Assignee: Pall
Invention pertains to mixed-mode resins having anionic character. A ligand is joined to a solid support by a “linkage that includes a mercapto-, ether-, or amino-containing moiety.” The resins have an anionic character under certain conditions prescribed for their use. “Separation of a biological substance, such as a peptide or protein, can be accomplished with a resin of this type via a change in the pH of eluants, thereby effecting adsorption and desorption,” according to the abstract.

US Patent 7,326,577. Cell fixation and use in phospho-proteome screening. Inventors: Keith Shults; Angel Flye. Assignee: Esoterix
Invention pertains to a method of cell fixation using a mild, denaturing heat and the fixative Permiflow, or similar fixative, that preserves cell morphology, light scatter profiles, nucleic acid content, cell surface epitopes, and unmasks internal epitopes not available previously.

US Patent 7,326,326. System and methods for electrophoretic separation of proteins on protein binding membranes. Inventors: Frank Chang; Christopher Yonan. Assignee: Temple University, Of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education
Electrophorectic separation is done in a low conductivity, water miscible organic solvent buffer. The low conductivity of the organic solvent buffer minimizes heat generation. The water miscible nature of the buffer allows for analysis of hydrophobic and low molecular weight proteins and hydrophilic proteins. “When electrophoresis is conducted under non-denaturing conditions, it allows the detection of enzymatic activities, protein-protein interactions and protein-ligand interactions,” according to the abstract.

US Patent 7,323,553. Non-affinity purification of proteins. Inventors: Robert Fahrner; Deborah Follman; Benedicte Lebreton; Robert van Reis. Assignee: Genentech
The method involves the combination of non-affinity chromatography with high-performance tangential flow filtration.

US Patent 7,323,309. Bio-barcodes based on oligonucleotide-modified particles. Inventors: Chad Mirkin; So-Jung Park; Jwa-Min Nam. Assignee: Northwestern University
Invention pertains to screening methods, compositions, and kits for detecting the presence or absence of one or more target analytes. In particular, it relates to a method utilizing reporter oligonucleotides as biochemical barcodes for detecting multiple protein structures or other target analytes in a solution.

The Scan

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.