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USPTO Publishes Seven RNAi-Related Patent Applications: May 24, 2007

Title: Recombinant DNA Constructs and Methods for Controlling Gene Expression
Numbers: 20070113302, 20070113301
Filed: Oct. 10, 2006
Lead Inventor: Shihshieh Huang, Monsanto
The invention, the patent applications’ abstracts state, “provides molecular constructs and methods for use thereof, including constructs including heterologous miRNA recognition sites, constructs for gene suppression including a gene suppression element embedded within an intron flanked on one or on both sides by non-protein-coding sequence, constructs containing engineered miRNA or miRNA precursors, and constructs for suppression of production of mature microRNA in a cell. Also provided are transgenic plant cells, plants, and seeds containing such constructs, and methods for their use. The invention further provides transgenic plant cells, plants, and seeds containing recombinant DNA for the ligand-controlled expression of a target sequence, which may be endogenous or exogenous,” the abstracts add. “Also disclosed are novel miRNAs and miRNA precursors from crop plants including maize and soy.”

Title: Gene Blocking Method
Numbers: 20070113295
Filed: Sept. 25, 2006
Lead Inventor: Eric Davidson, California Institute of Technology
“The invention relates to methods of regulating gene expression, e.g., to turn on or off, or up or down gene expression in an organism when and where desired, without the toxic side effects usually associated with other contemporary methods, such as those toxic side effects caused by introducing compounds that do not naturally occur in life,” the patent application’s abstract states.
The application specifically claims the use of an antisense RNA to inhibit the expression of a target gene.

Title: RNA Interference
Numbers: 20070111228
Filed: July 30, 2006
Lead Inventor: Sumedha Jayasena, Amgen
The invention “relates to RNA interference and methods for selecting interfering RNAs,” the patent application’s abstract states. “The … invention also relates to modified interfering RNAs … [as well as] methods of reducing the level of a specific mRNA in a cell, methods for reducing the level of a specific protein in a cell, and methods of regulating gene expression. The … invention also relates to methods of screening libraries for an interfering RNA of interest and methods of screening libraries based on a gene function.”

Title: Small Regulatory RNAs and Methods of Use
Numbers: 20070111227
Filed: July 28, 2006
Lead Inventor: Pamela Green, University of Delaware
According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention “relates to unique small ribonucleic acid molecules, for example siRNAs and miRNAs, identified and isolated using MPSS. Specifically, the invention is directed to the identification of a library of unique small RNA sequences from Arabidopsis thaliana. In another aspect, the small RNA sequences themselves are useful for performing biological functions, such as, for example, RNA interference.”

Title: Method to Quantify siRNAs, miRNAs, and Polymorphic miRNAs
Numbers: 20070111226
Filed: Aug. 24, 2006
Lead Inventor: Ruoying Tan, Applera
The patent application, its abstract states, claims “methods, compositions, and kits for quantifying target polynucleotides. In some embodiments, a reverse stem-loop ligation probe is ligated to the 3' end of a target polynucleotide, using a ligase that can ligate the 3' end of RNA to the 5' end of DNA using a DNA template, such as T4 DNA ligase. Following digestion to form an elongated target polynucleotide with a liberated end, a reverse transcription reaction can be performed, followed by a PCR. In some embodiments, the methods of the present teachings can discriminate between polymorphic polynucleotides that vary by as little as one nucleotide.”

Title: Methods and Compositions for the Synthesis of RNA and DNA
Numbers: 20070110722
Filed: Dec. 12, 2005
Lead Inventor: Demian Obregon, University of South Florida
The patent application, according to its abstract, claims “methods for the production of duplexes and single-stranded RNA and/or DNA of a desired length and sequence based on a novel template design which incorporates 2 polymerase promoters, primers, and production sequences within a single molecule. … This single-stranded template molecule design allows high-efficiency, high-yield production of single or multiple nucleic acid molecules in a single reaction vessel and thus is amenable to high-throughput automation. This single-stranded template molecule design also allows easy incorporation of single-stranded template molecules into delivery vectors for either in vitro, ex vivo, in vivo, or therapeutic application,” the abstract states.
“Methods for producing single-stranded template molecule-based RNA or DNA molecules, or hybrid molecules, in vivo, and therapeutic uses for such molecules” are also claimed, the abstract states. “Single-stranded template molecule kit designs are also described.”

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