February 2016 patents
Engineering the genome, targeting Fzd2 in cancer, driving capacitive actuators, evolving enzymes, and more
Harvard faculty Lee Rubin, Amy Wagers, Rob Wood, Gu-Yeon Wei, Sunney Xie, George Church, and David Liu are among the inventors issued U.S. patents during February 2016. The innovations recognized are as follows:
Methods of increasing satellite cell proliferation
U.S. Patent 9,248,185 (February 2, 2016)
Lee L. Rubin, Amanda Gee, and Amy J. Wagers
Abstract: The invention provides methods for inducing, enhancing or increasing satellite cell proliferation, and an assay for screening for a candidate compound for inducing, enhancing or increasing satellite cell proliferation. Also provided is a method for repairing or regenerating a damaged muscle tissue of a subject.
System and method for efficient drive of capacitive actuators with voltage amplification
U.S. Patent 9,257,936 (February 9, 2016)
Michael Karpelson, Robert J. Wood, and Gu-Yeon Wei
Abstract: A circuit for driving a plurality of capacitive actuators, the circuit having a low-voltage side, a high voltage side and a flyback transformer between the two. The low-voltage side comprises first and second pairs of low-side switches connected in series across an input voltage. The flyback transformer has a primary winding connected to the two pairs of switches. The high-voltage side has a pair of switches connected between the secondary winding of the flyback transformer and a ground and a plurality of capacitive loads and bidirectional switches to connect the loads to the secondary winding of the flyback transformer and a ground.
Frizzled 2 as a target for therapeutic antibodies in the treatment of cancer
U.S. Patent 9,260,519 (February 16, 2016)
Taranjit S. Gujral and Gavin MacBeath
Abstract: Disclosed herein are methods of treating cancer in a subject, and methods for inhibiting growth, migration and/or invasion of a cancer cell in the subject, comprising administering to the subject a therapeutically effective amount of an antibody or antigen binding fragment thereof that downmodulates Fzd2. The antibody may specifically bind Fzd2, and may promote internalization of the Fzd2 receptor by the cancer cells and/or prevent ligand binding to Fzd2. Specific antibodies, and also specific portions of the Fzd2 molecule for antibody binding are disclosed. In one embodiment the antibody specifically binds to the epitope HGAEQICVGQNHSEDGAPAL (SEQ ID NO: 1). Specific cancers (e.g. late stage hepatocellular carcinoma), intended for treatment are provided, and include cancers that exhibit overexpression of Fzd2, and/or Wnt5a.
RNA-guided human genome engineering
U.S. Patent 9,260,723 (February 16, 2016)
Prashant G. Mali, George M. Church, and Luhan Yang
Abstract: A method of altering a eukaryotic cell is provided including transfecting the eukaryotic cell with a nucleic acid encoding RNA complementary to genomic DNA of the eukaryotic cell, transfecting the eukaryotic cell with a nucleic acid encoding an enzyme that interacts with the RNA and cleaves the genomic DNA in a site specific manner, wherein the cell expresses the RNA and the enzyme, the RNA binds to complementary genomic DNA and the enzyme cleaves the genomic DNA in a site specific manner.
Single cell nucleic acid detection and analysis
U.S. Patent 9,260,753 (February 16, 2016)
Xiaoliang Sunney Xie, Katsuyuki Shiroguchi, Peter A. Sims, and Tony Z. Jia
Abstract: Methods and compositions for digital profiling of nucleic acid sequences present in a sample are provided.
Evolution of bond-forming enzymes
U.S. Patent 9,267,127 (February 23, 2016)
David R. Liu, Irwin Chen, and Brent M. Dorr
Abstract: Strategies, systems, methods, reagents, and kits for the directed evolution of bond-forming enzymes are provided herein. Evolution products, for example, evolved sortases exhibiting enhanced reaction kinetics and/or altered substrate preferences are also provided herein, as are methods for using such evolved bond-forming enzymes. Kits comprising materials, reagents, and cells for carrying out the directed evolution methods described herein are also provided.
RNA-guided transcriptional regulation
U.S. Patent 9,267,135 (February 23, 2016)
George M. Church, Prashant G. Mali, and Kevin M. Esvelt
Abstract: Methods of modulating expression of a target nucleic acid in a cell are provided including introducing into the cell a first foreign nucleic acid encoding one or more RNAs complementary to DNA, wherein the DNA includes the target nucleic acid, introducing into the cell a second foreign nucleic acid encoding a nuclease-null Cas9 protein that binds to the DNA and is guided by the one or more RNAs, introducing into the cell a third foreign nucleic acid encoding a transcriptional regulator protein or domain, wherein the one or more RNAs, the nuclease-null Cas9 protein, and the transcriptional regulator protein or domain are expressed, wherein the one or more RNAs, the nuclease-null Cas9 protein and the transcriptional regulator protein or domain co-localize to the DNA and wherein the transcriptional regulator protein or domain regulates expression of the target nucleic acid.