Technology Bundle ID: TAB-18

Genes For Niemann-Pick Type C Disease

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Primary Inventors: 
Eugene Carstea (NINDS)
Danilo Tagle (NHGRI), Jessie Gu (NHGRI), Jill Morris (NHGRI), Melissa Ashlock (NHGRI), Peter Pentchev (NINDS), Stacie Loftus (NHGRI)
Institute or Center: 

Niemann-Pick disease is a class of inherited lipid storage diseases. Niemann-Pick Type C disease is an autosomal recessive neurovisceral lipid storage disorder which leads to systemic and neurological abnormalities including ataxia, seizures, and loss of speech. Patients with the disease typically die as children. The biochemical hallmark of Niemann-Pick Type C cells is the abnormal accumulation of unesterified cholesterol in lysosomes, which results in the delayed homeostatic regulation of both uptake and esterification of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Niemann-Pick Type C is characterized by phenotypic variability. The disease appears at random in families that have no history of the disorder, making diagnosis problematic. This invention provides the human gene for Niemann-Pick Type C disease and the nucleic acid sequences corresponding to the human gene for Niemann-Pick Type C disease. Also provided is the mouse homolog of the human gene. The invention could lead to improved diagnosis and the design of therapies for the disease and improved means of detection of carriers of the gene. In addition, this invention may contribute to the understanding and development of treatments for atherosclerosis, a more common disorder associated with cholesterol buildup that involves the accumulation of fatty tissue inside arteries that blocks blood flow, leading to heart disease and stroke. The invention may also lead to additional discoveries concerning how cholesterol is processed in the body.


PCT Application PCT/US98/13862
Filed on 1998-07-02
US Application 60/051,682
Filed on 1997-07-03
US Pat 6,426,198

Issued 2002-07-30
US Pat 7,045,675

Issued 2006-05-16


S.K. Loftus et al., "Murine model of Niemann-Pick C disease: Mutation in a cholesterol homeostasis gene," Science 277(5323):232-235, 1997.
S.K. Loftus et al., "Rescue of neurodegeneration in Niemann Pick-C mice by a prion-promoter driven Npc1 cDNA transgene," Human Molec. Genet. 11(24):3107-14, 2002.

License Status

censees sought.

Also, the NHGRI Genetic Disease Research Branch is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize Niemann-Pick Type C disease diagnostics and therapies as well as potential applications of the Niemann-Pick Type C gene related to atherosclerosis and cholesterol processing. Please contact Claire T. Driscoll for more information (telephone: 301/594-2235; email:


Feb 1, 2006

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