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Seven New RNAi-related Patent Applications Published by USPTO

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Title: Novel Nucleic Acid and Polypeptide Molecules. Number: 20030219739. Filed: Jan. 30, 2002. Lead Inventor: David Glass, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

The patent application, its abstract states, covers an invention involving “nucleic acid sequences that encode novel mammalian intracellular signaling polypeptides, designated MURF1, MURF3, or MA-61. The invention also provides assays systems that may be used to detect and/or measure agents that bind the MURF1 or MAFBX gene product.”

The abstract adds that the invention “also provides for diagnostic and therapeutic methods based on the interaction between MURF1 or MAFBX and agents that initiate signal transduction or inhibition of ubiquitination through binding to MURF1 or MA-61,” thereby inhibiting the mRNA expression of MURF1, MURF3, or MA-61, or by inhibiting the MURF, MURF3, or MAFBX pathway.

According to the patent application, in one embodiment of the invention, patients that suffer from an excess of MURF1, MURF3, or MAFBX may be treated by receiving antisense RNA, antisense oligodeoxyribonucleotides, or RNAi corresponding to a MURF1, MURF3, or MAFBX gene coding region.


Title: RNA Silencing in Animals as an Antiviral Defense. Number: 20030219407. Filed: May 15, 2002. Lead Inventor: Shou-Wei Ding, University of California, Riverside.

“The present invention,” the patent application’s abstract states, “provides recombinant DNA constructs for inactivation of viral or endogenous genes in a cell, wherein the construct comprises viral sequence sufficient to activate RNA silencing.” The invention also provides “methods for identifying RNA silencing suppressors by sequence analysis and functional tests,” the abstract states. “In yet another aspect, the invention provides a method for identifying inhibitors of RNA silencing suppressors.” Finally, the invention covers “methods for identifying genes [including ones inhibited by RNAi] in the antiviral RNA silencing pathway, enhancers of the antiviral pathway, and methods of treating and preventing viral infections using enhancers of the pathway.”


Title: Therapeutic Polypeptides, Nucleic Acids Encoding the Same, and Methods of Use. Number: 20030219823. Filed: Sept. 6, 2002. Lead Inventor: John Alsobrook II, Yale University School of Medicine.

The patent application, states its abstract, covers “nucleic acid sequences that encode novel polypeptides … polypeptides encoded by these nucleic acid sequences, and antibodies that immunospecifically bind to the polypeptide.” The application also covers derivatives, variants, mutants, or fragments of the novel polypeptide, polynucleotide, or antibody specific to the polypeptide, states the abstract.

“The invention further discloses therapeutic, diagnostic, and research methods for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders involving one of these novel human nucleic acids and proteins.”

The patent application describes one aspect of the invention in which NOVX gene expression is attenuated by RNA interference.


Title: Sticky Rice. Number: 20030219878. Filed: Nov. 1, 2002. Lead Inventor: John Lindbo, Large Scale Biology.

“Restriction Independent Cloning Events (RICE) are made by generating 5’ overhangs (sticky ends),” the patent application’s abstract states. “The polynucleotides to be joined are reacted with a DNA polymerase, having 3’ to 5’ exonuclease activity and 5’ to 3’ polymerizing activity, less than all of the dNTPs, a kinase and a ligase. The complementary 5’ overhangs anneal and ligate.”

The patent application specifically claims a method of joining double-stranded polynucleotides by “generating 5’ complementary cohesive ends on two or more polynucleotides … allowing the complementary cohesive ends to anneal wherein at least one of the polynucleotides has a 5’ phosphate group using a DNA kinase treatment if necessary … [and] ligating the annealed complementary cohesive ends.”

The patent application further claims the use of this method to construct recombinant DNA molecules “where the recombinant DNA is to be used for constructing [double-stranded RNAs including double-stranded hairpin RNAs] for applications in RNAi.”


Title: Methods of Suppressing Gene Expression. Number: 20030221211. Filed: Jan. 30, 2003. Lead Inventor: William Rottmann, ArborGen.

The patent application, its abstract states, covers “DNA constructs useful for suppressing the expression of targeted genes.

“The constructs encode an RNA molecule with a stem-loop structure that is unrelated to the target gene and that is positioned distally to a sequence specific for the gene of interest,” the abstract continues. “Methods of suppressing the expression of selected genes and transformed hosts also are described.”


Title: Adenoviral Vectors for Modulating the Cellular Activities Associated to PODs. Number: 20030219410. Filed: Jan. 31, 2003. Inventor: Manuel Rosa Calatrava, Transgene.

The patent application’s abstract states that the invention is a “method of modulating one or more cellular activities dependent on a POD nuclear structure in a host cell through the action of a molecule of adenoviral origin,” wherein the molecule is “capable of interacting with the cellular function of said POD nuclear structure.”

The invention “also relates to the use of [a] replication-defective adenoviral vector or molecule to provide a reduction or an inhibition of the antiviral or apoptosis cellular activities, as well as to provide a reduction of the toxicity induced by a replication-defective adenovirus vector or to enhance transgene expression-driven from said replication-defective adenovirus vector.”

The patent application notes that a transgene includes “genes encoding antisense sequences, ribozymes, or RNA molecules capable of exerting RNA interference.”


Title: Multiplexed Cell Transfection Using Coded Carriers. Number: 20030219800. Filed: March 5, 2003. Lead Inventor: Oren Beske, Vitra Biosciences.

The patent application, its abstract states, covers “systems — including methods, compositions, and kits — for transfection of cells with transfection materials using coded carriers.”

Specifically, the application states that “the coded carriers identify subsets of the cells transfected by the transfection materials through apposition of the cell subsets to the carriers. Accordingly, a plurality of transfections may be conducted in parallel in a single compartment.”

The patent application adds that “the coded carriers may be used to screen and/or analyze libraries of transfection materials and/or the effects of physical modulators and/or libraries of chemical/biological modulators, ligands, and/or antibodies on transfected cells using a multiplexed plate format.

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