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114 available technologies

Assay for Dopamine Neuron Viability Using C. Elegans

The loss of DA neurons is a major feature of Parkinson's disease and other neuro-generative disorders. Vanderbilt researchers have established an in vivo screen for DA neuron protective agents and genes using the nematode C. elegans. Using green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression in C. elegans DA neurons, researchers have established that the nematode is sensitive to the mammalian neurotoxins that target DA neurons in mammalian models, consistent with an environmentally triggered loss of DA neurons. They also demonstrate that agents that block the nematode DA transporter or genetic ablation of the DA transporters protect these DA neurons. Thus, researchers have established lines and conditions that can allow for the facile screening, in a high throughput format, for agents or genes that may protect DA neurons from exogenous or endogenous neurotoxin-induced cell death. The system should also be useful for identifying novel pathway controlling presynaptic DA neuron function with potential applications to Schizophrenia, ADHD and addiction, where altered DA signaling has been proposed.

New Insect Repellants Disrupt Olfactory Cues: A Strategy for Pest Protection

A multinational research team, led by Dr. L. J. Zwiebel of Vanderbilt University, has identified new compounds with potential as insect repellents. These compounds work by capitalizing on knowledge of how insect odorant receptors detect and respond to scents. Medicinal chemistry efforts have yielded a number of novel compounds that could short-circuit the insect olfactory system, essentially by over-stimulation, to effectively mask attractive odors. These compounds could be used to repel nuisance and disease-carrying insects away from humans and animals, as well as repel agricultural pests from crops or food storage facilities. Vanderbilt University is seeking commercial partners to develop the technology for agricultural uses.

Near-Infrared Dye with Large Stokes Shift for Simultaneous Multichannel in vivo Molecular Imaging

Fluorescent labels having near-infrared (NIR) emission wavelengths have the ability to penetrate tissue deeper than other emission wavelengths, providing enormous potential for non-invasive imaging applications. However, advancement of optical imaging (particularly NIR imaging) is hindered by the limitation of narrow Stokes shift of most infrared dyes currently available in the market. Vanderbilt researchers have developed a novel NIR dye (4-Sulfonir) for multichannel imaging that enables in vivo imaging of multiple targets due to its large Stokes shift. 4-Sulfonir with its unique large Stokes shift (~150 nm) and wide excitation spectrum could be used in parallel with other NIR dyes for imaging two molecular events simultaneously in one target.

A Method for Regulating Glucokinase by Reaction With Nitric Oxide

Vanderbilt researchers have discovered a novel mechanism through which the insulin regulating enzyme glucokinase is regulated. This discovery provides a powerful way to screen for activators of glucokinase, which may lead to therapies for diabetes.

On Chip Polarimetry for HTS

Using microfluidic technology developed by the Bornhop Lab at Vanderbilt, this invention enables the rapid determination of the optical activity of compounds and solutions. Due to the nature of this invention, it is possible to screen a multitude of samples in a high throughput manner in less time with less material and greater accuracy than the industry standards.

Human Choline Transporter cDNA

Vanderbilt researchers report the isolation and characterization of a human cDNA encoding the high affinity, hemicholinium-3 sensitive choline transporter. This transporter is expressed in cholinergic terminals, and it provides for transport into cholinergic terminals of choline, the precursor for acetylcholine biosynthesis. The cDNA, through HC-3 radio ligand binding assays or choline transport assays, allows for high-throughput screening of choline transporter directed agents or as a negative screen to insure specificity for nicotinic and muscarinic acetylcholine receptor-directed agents (as well as other pharmaceutics). The choline transporter in vivo is highly regulated, and the human choline transporter's regulation is poorly understood. Use of the cDNA may allow for the development of novel cholinergic therapeutics targeted at choline transporter modulation. Antibodies directed against the human choline transporter should be useful probes of human cholinergic neurons. Sequences in the human choline transporter cDNA should allow for the generation of transporter specific gene probes that can be queried by in situ hybridization, PCR analyses of transporter gene expression or gene chip approaches evaluating alterations in presynaptic cholinergic function.

Stable HERG Expressing Cells

Vanderbilt researchers have designed a cell line with stable expression of the human heart potassium channel, HERG. This cell line has robust and very consistent cell-to-cell HERG activity without detectable endogenous ionic currents, making it ideal to use in preclinical drug screening.

Human Monoclonal Antibodies to Infectious Diseases

Using human B cell hybridoma creation, and antibody engineering technologies, Dr. James E Crowe Jr.'s laboratory has developed an array of antibodies from full length human antibodies to Fab fragments and diabodies. Many of these antibodies are ready for a cooperate partner who can further develop these antibodies into biologic herapeutics. The table below is a sample of the antibodies they are currently researching and have available. In addition to these areas of research, Dr. Crowe is actively seeking collaborative opportunities to identify new interesting targets for future antibody engineering projects.

New Gene Involved in Male Fertility

It is estimated that approximately 30% of men have reduced fertility and 2% are totally infertile. Despite these large numbers relatively little is know about the molecular bases of male infertility. On the flip side of male infertility is the need for male contraception. Currently there are no reversible, convenient male contraceptives available. In order to develop male contraceptives and acquire a greater understanding of male fertility there is a need to develop animal models to study the molecular basis and pathways that regulate and control male fertility. Vanderbilt researchers have developed a model mouse system to study male fertility. There research focuses on the epididymus, which is the area that spermatozoa acquire the ability to move and fertilize. For this region to be functional tissue and cell specific gene regulation must occur. These investigators have discovered one such gene regulated within this area, mEP17. These researchers can fuse either mouse or human EP17 or just the regulatory regions of either EP17 to reporter genes and the resulting fusion can be used to screen for substances that regulate this gene and affect male fertility. This system becomes a powerful tool to identify drugs which affect this gene and be potential male contraceptives. In addition polypeptides generated to this gene may be used as vaccines for male contraceptives.

Mouse Fc-FGF-1

We produced a plasmid containing the Fc portion of mouse IgGl (Fc) coupled to human fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF-1). The plasmid was transformed into E. coli to express the fusion protein. The fusion protein was purified on a heparin sepharose column which has high affinity for the FGF portion of the fusion protein. The purpose of making this protein was to be able to identify cells that express receptors for FGF using flow cytometry.There are multiple fluorochrome labeled antibodies to mouse IgGl. When the fusion protein is bound to FGF receptors on cells, the Fc portion is on the surface of the cells and can be detected by fluorochrome labeled antibodies to mouse IgGl. Therefore, cells that express FGF receptors and bind the fusion protein can be detected by flow cytometry or immunofluorescence.

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