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USPTO Publishes Two RNAi-Related Patent Applications: Aug 17, 2006

Title: Systems and Methods for Identifying miRNA Targets and for Altering miRNA and Target Expression
Number: 20060185027
Filed: Dec. 23, 2005
Lead Inventor: David Bartel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The invention “generally relates to microRNAs such as vertebrate microRNA, for example, mammalian miRNA,” the patent application’s abstract states. “Various aspects of the invention are directed to the detection, production, or expression of miRNA. In one aspect, the invention provides systems and methods for identifying targets of miRNA sequences. For instance, in one embodiment, gene sequences comprising UTRs are compared with miRNA sequences to determine the degree of interaction, for example, by determining a free energy measurement between the miRNA sequence and the UTR, and/or by determining complementarity between at least a portion of the miRNA sequence and the UTR,” it states.
“In another aspect, the invention is directed to the regulation of gene expression using miRNA,” the abstract adds.” For example, gene expression within a cell may be altered by exposing the cell to an oligonucleotide comprising a sequence that is substantially antisense to at least a portion of an miRNA region of the gene, for example, antisense to a 6-mer or 7-mer portion of the miRNA. In still another aspect, the invention is directed to the treatment of cancer. For instance, in one set of embodiments, an isolated oligonucleotide comprising a sequence that is substantially antisense to an miRNA, or a portion of an miRNA, is administered to a subject having or being at risk of cancer,” the abstract states. “Yet other aspects of the invention are directed to compositions or kits including oligonucleotides comprising a sequence that is substantially antisense to an miRNA (or a portion of an miRNA), methods of promoting any of the above aspects, or the like.”

Title: Multiple-Compartment Eukaryotic Expression Systems
Number: 20060183231
Filed: Feb. 22, 2006
Lead Inventor: Catherine Pachuk, Nucleonics
The patent application, its abstract states, covers a “method and constructs for expressing heterologous sequences of interest in eukaryotic cells using multiple-compartment expression systems. These systems, which may be comprised of a single construct or multiple constructs, utilize at least two different promoters which are each active within a different subcellular compartment of the same eukaryotic cell. The system and constructs of the invention are particularly useful for achieving enhanced in vivo expression of RNA molecules capable of modulating the expression of target genes.”

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