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Thermostable Y-Family Polymerases From Fungi for Use in Forensic DNA Services and Analysis of Damaged or Ancient DNA

Posted Apr 19 2010 5:00pm

Description of Invention:
Y-family polymerases are able to bypass lesions in DNA that would otherwise block replication by high fidelity DNA polymerases and are key to the effective study of ancient DNA and for use in forensic medicine. These enzymes are ubiquitous and are found in all kingdoms of life: bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes. The number of proteins related to the Y-family polymerases is well over 200 orthologs and despite being closely related at the phylogenetic level, the few polymerases now characterized, each show a unique set of properties including processivity, fidelity, and the ability to bypass certain types of DNA. Y-family polymerases from thermostable organisms are of particular interest because the enzymes isolated from such species tend to be more stable, easy to work with and may have more utility in assays at higher temperatures, such as Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). For example, the thermostable archeal Sulfolobus solfataricus DinB-like polymerase Dpo4 can bypass lesions by generally inserting the correct complementary nucleotide opposite a variety of damaged bases and can, under appropriate conditions substitute for Taq polymerase in PCR applications [Nucleic Acids Res. 2001 Nov 15;29(22):4607-4616; HHS Ref. No. E-232-2001/0 ]. Additionally, functional and structural organization of this family of polymerases permits domain swapping designed to optimize specific properties of use in novel applications [J Biol Chem. 2004 Jul 30;279(31):32932-32940].

Dr. Woodgate's group at the National Institute of Child Health and Development have expanded their earlier work ( HHS Ref. Nos. E-166-2004/0, /1, & / 2 ) and have now cloned and expressed full length Y-family polymerases Thermoascus auranticus Pol eta, Thermomyces lanuginosus Pol eta, Thermomyces lanuginosus Pol iota, Thermomyces lanuginosus Pol kappa, Thermomyces lanuginosus REV1, Sporotrichum thermophile Pol eta, Sporotrichum thermophile Pol iota, Sporotrichum thermophile Pol kappa, and Sporotrichum thermophile REV1. These full length enzymes may be a good substitute for Taq polymerase in applications utilizing fluorescent nucleoside triphosphate derivatives. These lesion-bypassing polymerases could also be included along with a conventional thermostable polymerase in a PCR protocol designed to amplify old or damaged DNA samples which could greatly increase recoverability, accuracy and length of products. Other applications could include labelling or tagging DNA, real-time PCR, detection of SNPs, mismatches or DNA lesions, mutagenic PCR, directed-evolution methods and expanding the "DNA alphabet" utilizing non-natural nucleotides.

Available for licensing are several full length novel Y-family polymerases. These enzymes and methods should be of interest to forensic DNA service companies as well as to research reagent companies pursuing novel thermophilic enzymes for use in ancient and damaged DNA analysis and for novel applications with modified nucleotides.

Roger Woodgate (NICHD)
John P Mcdonald (NICHD)

Patent Status:
HHS, Reference No. E-254-2009/0
US, Application No. 61/289,901 filed 23 Dec 2009

Related Technologies:
US, Patent No. 7,745,188, Issued 29 Jun 2010, Reference No. E-166-2004/2 and related international patent applications
US, Application No. 12/776,603 filed 10 May 2010, Reference No. E-166-2004/2

Licensing Status:
Available for licensing.

Collaborative Research Opportunity:
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Laboratory of Genomic Integrity, is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize the aforementioned thermostable fungal Y-family DNA polymerases. Please contact Joseph Conrad, Ph.D. at 301-435-3107 or for more information. Click here to view the NICHD collaborative opportunity announcement.

Devices/Instrumentation - Diagnostics
Devices/Instrumentation - Research Tools and Materials
Gene Based Therapies
Gene Based Therapies - Research Materials
Research Materials

For Additional Information Please Contact:
Suryanarayana Vepa Ph.D.
NIH Office of Technology Transfer
6011 Executive Blvd. Suite 325,
Rockville, MD 20852
United States
Phone: 301-435-5020
Fax: 301-402-0220

Ref No: 2103

Updated: 04/2010

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