C14439: Anastasis Biosensor (Split version)

Case ID:
Disclosure Date:
This technology involves a biosensor that is able to label and track cells in vitro and in vivo that have reversed apoptosis (Anastasis, Greek for “rising to life”) after they experienced mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP) and caspase-3 activation, the 2 most recognized hallmarks of apoptosis at execution stage.  This biosensor can be used to identify regulator of anastasis (therapeutic targets), and screening for drugs that can promote or suppress reversal of apoptosis.
Value Proposition:
This invention is a biosensor that track anastasis, the phenomenon in which dying human cells can recover from the brink of cell death. Promoting anastasis could in principle preserve injured cells that are difficult to replace, such as cardiomyocytes and neurons. Conversely, arresting anastasis in dying cancer cells after cancer therapies could improve treatment efficacy. To develop new therapies that promote or inhibit anastasis, it is essential to identify the key regulators and mediators of anastasis - the therapeutic targets. The technology enables the development of new therapies to fight intractable apoptosis-related diseases such as heart failure, cancers, and degeneration. The current invention aims to:
  • detect the key hallmarks of apoptosis
  • provide doctors with mechanism to combat anastasis 
  • prevent cells from recovering between chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments 
  • decrease likelihood of cancer relapse 
  • stop anastasis before DNA is damaged
  • rescue injured cells difficult to be replaced like heart cells and neurons
The anastasis biosensor (split version) will utilize the Split Gal4 system (MOMP-dependent NGal + caspase-dependent CGal = active Gal4) and mammalian Gal4 reporter to label cells that can reverse apoptosis after MOMP and caspase-3 activation. The earlier version of anastasis biosensor, CaspaseTracker biosensor system, was used to demonstrate the reversal of apoptosis in live animals. CaspaseTracker consists of a caspase-activatable yeast transcription factor Gal4 and the G-TRACE fluorescent protein system, both of which are genetically encoded.
Stage of Development:
The research group has identified small molecules that can modulate reversal of apoptosis. An in vivo dual color CapaseTracker biosensor demonstrated apoptosis reversal in Drosophila melanogasters
Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Anastasis Biosensor (Split version) PRO: Provisional United States 62/422,689 11/16/2016     Expired
Anastasis Biosensor (Split version) PCT: Patent Cooperation Treaty PCT PCT/US2017/061973   11/16/2017     Pending
For Information, Contact:
Christine Joseph
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