Columbia University

Technology Ventures

In vivo screen using chemical inducers of dimerization

Technology #m01-029

Name of the inventor: Virginia W. Cornish

Description #1: An in vivo screening method for proteins and drugs using chemical inducers of protein dimerization is disclosed. A method for determining if a protein interacts with a ligand in vivo is described.

The method involves using a chemical inducer to dimerize a pair of fusion proteins. The dimerized fusion protein catalyzes bond cleavage in the chemical inducer which is read as a change in enzyme activity or gene transcription.

Description #2: The invention relates to the evolution of enzymes and drug screening in vivo through the use of chemical inducers of protein dimerization.

The method involves using a chemical inducer to dimerize a pair of fusion proteins. The dimerized fusion protein catalyzes bond cleavage in the chemical inducer which is read as a change in enzyme activity or gene transcription.

The invention further provides a method of evolving a protein with a new catalytic activity comprising screening proteins. The screening proteins are derived from a library of proteins which are mutants of a known protein, using the in vivo screening method. The invention also provides an engineered enzyme having new substrate specificity and an engineered enzyme that functions with a cofactor which is different from the cofactors the enzymes naturally use.