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Baltimore, MD, United States

Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), a Category A biodefense agent, delivers a protease to motor neuron cytosol that cleaves one or more soluble NSF attachment protein receptors (SNARE) proteins involved in neurotransmission to cause a flaccid paralysis. No antidotes exist to reverse symptoms of BoNT intoxication so severely affected patients require artificial respiration with prolonged intensive care. Time to recovery depends on toxin serotype because the intraneuronal persistence of the seven known BoNT serotypes varies widely from days to many months. Our therapeutic antidote strategy is to develop 'targeted F-box' (TFB) agents that target the different intraneuronal BoNT proteases for accelerated degradation by the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS), thus promoting rapid recovery from all serotypes. These agents consist of a camelid heavy chain-only V H (VHH) domain specific for a BoNT protease fused to an F-box domain recognized by an intraneuronal E3-ligase. A fusion protein containing the 14 kDa anti-BoNT/A protease VHH, ALcB8, joined to a 15 kDa F-box domain region of TrCP (D5) was sufficient to cause increased ubiquitination and accelerate turnover of the targeted BoNT/A protease within neurons. Neuronal cells expressing this TFB, called D5-B8, were also substantially resistant to BoNT/A intoxication and recovered from intoxication at least 2.5 fold quicker than control neurons. Fusion of D5 to a VHH specific for BoNT/B protease (BLcB10) led to accelerated turnover of the targeted protease within neurons, thus demonstrating the modular nature of these therapeutic agents and suggesting that development of similar therapeutic agents specific to all botulinum serotypes should be readily achievable. © 2011 Kuo et al. Source

The present invention relates to a designer or recombinant ubiquitin ligase molecule that includes a toxin binding domain that is specific for a toxin active fragment, wherein the toxin active fragment is an enzymatically active fragment of one or more toxins or toxin serotypes; and an E3-ligase domain that comprises an E3-ligase or polypeptide that facilitates E2-mediated ubiquitination of the toxin active fragment. In an embodiment, the composition further includes a delivery system that allow the designer ubiquitin ligase to enter the cell. The present invention further includes methods for treating an individual intoxicated with a toxin by administering the designer ubiquitin ligase of the present invention.

Synaptic Research, Llc | Date: 2011-06-13

A cell based assay for detection for protease activity is disclosed. In the assay a cell is engineered to express a protease substrate with at least one label, preferably on its C-terminus. Cleavage of the substrate by the protease that recognizes it results in a C-terminal fragment and a N-terminal fragment, where the fragment having the label is subject to ubiquitin proteasome degradation. The assay measures the disappearance of the label due to degradation of the fragment to which it is attached. A cell free assay is also described for detection of protease activity. In the cell free assay, the protease substrate is expressed in a solution that includes the elements of the ubiquitin proteasome pathway for degradation of the fragment. The assay measures the disappearance of the label attached to the fragment that results from cleavage by the protease.

A novel protein delivery system to generate induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells is described. The delivery system comprises a construct with a receptor binding domain that recognizes a receptor in a somatic cell, a translocation domain that allows the transfer of an inducer into the cytosolic space, and a cargo bearing domain to which the inducer is attached and facilitates transfer of the inducer into the cell.

Synaptic Research, Llc and The Regents Of The University Of California | Date: 2012-10-26

This invention provides diatom-based vaccines.

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