Broadly Applicable Modules for Improved Expression and Detection of Membrane Proteins

NIH investigators have designed and tested a set of expression modules that are applicable to a wide variety of membrane proteins. Prior to this invention, cloned membrane proteins have sometimes been difficult to detect due to the lack of effective antibodies. Moreover, currently available expression vectors lack the signal sequences, tags, and multiple cloning sites to clone membrane proteins and express them on the cell surface. This invention is the first of its kind to contain all of these elements to facilitate biochemical studies on membrane proteins.

This technology is a set of nucleic acid modules designed for the expression and tagging of membrane proteins in mammalian cells. The module includes a signal peptide, an exchangeable tag, and a multiple cloning site. The gene of a membrane protein may be conveniently inserted into the multiple cloning site, and the signal peptide will target the cloned membrane protein to the cell surface. The tag, in frame with the signal peptide, is either a fluorescent protein or an epitope for a known antibody, both of which enable detection of the protein by several standard biochemical methodologies.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
This technology can provide improved expression and detection of membrane proteins in common laboratory cell lines. 

Development Stage:
Each module contains either one of two different epitope tags, and the expression vector contains either zeocin- or neomycin-resistant markers. There are two sets of module (four vectors) available.


Li Lin (NIA)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
U.S. Pat: 8,501,925 issued 2013-08-06
US Application No. 12/652,395

J Pang, X Zeng, RP Xiao, EG Lakatta, L Lin. Design, generation, and testing of mammalian expression modules that tag membrane proteins. Protein Sci. 2009 Apr 16;18(6):1261-1271. PubMed abs

Collaboration Opportunity:

The National Institute on Aging, Laboratory of Cardiovascular Sciences, is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize the technology of mammalian membrane protein expression and detection. Please contact Vio Conley at 301-496-0477 or for more information.

Licensing Contact:
Charlotte McGuinness, Ph.D., J.D.
Phone: 240-276-5530

OTT Reference No: E-016-2009/0
Updated: May 28, 2009