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Project TitleLight-Controlled Modular miRNA Regulators
Track Code2013-007
Short Description

A novel miRNA regulating system to overcome current limitations.

Abstract

This system would consist of customizable modular miRNA regulating molecules whose activities are controlled by light. The structure of this innovation will address the off-target inhibition problems and provide desired spatiotemporal and gene-specific miRNA regulatory controls, with the end goal applications being long-reaching.

 
Tagstherapeutic
 
Posted DateJul 19, 2013

Researcher

Name
Fu-Sen Liang

Manager

Name
Jovan Heusser

Background

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNAs that regulate diverse cellular processes through epigenetic, transcriptional, translational and posttranslational controls. Dysregulation of miRNAs has been connected to various human diseases including cancer, heart disease, metabolic disease, infectious disease, autoimmune disease, neurodegenerative disease and psychiatric disorders among others. Methods to control the levels of chosen miRNAs not only enable researcher to dissect the roles of miRNAs in human disease but also directly contribute to the development of novel miRNA targeting therapies.  Current miRNA regulation methods, such as using antisense oligonucleotides, generally suffer from off-target inhibition. For research purposes, it typically requires scientists to use multiple antisense molecules for the same target to pinpoint the direct effects from off target effects. For therapeutic application, off-target inhibition causes unwanted side effects that can be devastating. In addition, the specific functions of miRNAs typically depend on the cellular contexts, which varied at different time and from cells to cells and may be miRNA-gene specific. Most of current methods are unable to provide precise spatiotemporal and gene-specific controls against chosen miRNAs. Therefore, novel miRNA regulating methods that address the above critical issues are highly desired.

Technology Description

Researchers at the University of New Mexico have developed a novel miRNA regulating system to overcome current limitations. This system would consist of customizable modular miRNA regulating molecules whose activities are controlled by light. The structure of this innovation will address the off-target inhibition problems and provide desired spatiotemporal and gene-specific miRNA regulatory controls, with the end goal applications being long-reaching. It is envisioned that this innovation will provide for an easy customization to generate new regulators to control any miRNA of interest for biological research to elucidate the roles of miRNAs in cellular processes and human diseases, which will accelerate the development of more efficient therapies. The modular miRNA regulators would also potentially become novel therapeutic agents for different human diseases.

Advantages/Applications

  • Overcomes off-target and specificity issues associated with current methods
  • Light-controlled miRNA regulators enables precise spatiotemporal tuning of miRNA levels in different cellular contexts
  • Easily and highly customizable modular molecules allow broad applications for any chosen miRNAs
  • Holds applications to further functional research in various critical human diseases, which will in turn aid treatment research
  • Potentially a new generation of miRNA targeting therapeutic agents for human diseases

Advantages

  • Expands possibilities for ablative treatment
  • Diminishes life-threatening risk of complications and tissue damage

Publications

INQUIRES

STC has filed intellectual property on this exciting new technology and is currently exploring commercialization options. If you are interested in information about this or other technologies, please contact Arlene Mirabal at amirabal@stc.unm.edu or 505-272-7886.

Files

File Name Description
US/2016/0237439/A1 Published Patent Application None Download