Alternative Splicing of the MCI-1 Gene Useful in Cancer Therapy
MCL1 is a member of the BCL2 gene family which is involved in controlling cell viability and immortalization. Because of their ability to keep cells alive, these gene products can contribute to cancer. Recent data demonstrate that, in addition to the full length MCL1 gene product, MCL1 can undergo alternative splicing to a truncated derivative, MCL1s/deltaTM. The shorter alternatively spliced gene product lacks sequences critical to the viability-promoting function of MCL1, but retains a sequence which, in the absence of the missing sequences, causes cells to die rather than remaining alive. The next stage in this research is to develop an approach to cause the gene product to undergo splicing via the alternative rather than the standard pathway. This could represent a means of converting a gene that contributes to the continuous life of the cancer cell into a cancer killer.
This technology is claimed in the issued United States Patent No. 6,800,750. We are in the process of patenting this technology and are seeking an industrial partner interested in its commercialization. (Ref: J114)
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