TUCSON   520.748.4400

Growing Use of Versatile Protein Expression Tool


Tucson, AZ – Dec 02, 2002

Research Corporation Technologies granted 38 new licenses in 2002 for use of a DNA tool to increase protein expression levels in eukaryotic cells. To date, 78 biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in the United States, Canada, Japan, Europe and Australia are licensed users of the bovine growth hormone polyadenylation signal sequence (bgh-polyA).

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland discovered the bgh-polyA, a specialized termination sequence that enables a high level of protein expression in mammalian cells. Derived from the bgh gene, the bgh-polyA sequence is a useful tool for producing pharmaceutical proteins and peptides in culture, increasing gene expression in gene therapy, and producing proteins in transgenic animals. Researchers have proven the effectiveness of the technology in a variety of systems.

RCT manages commercialization of this technology for Case Western Reserve University and the inventors. In 1997, the university assigned RCT the rights to patents issued in the United States, Europe and Japan that broadly cover the composition of the polyadenylation sequence and its use.

All gene expression requires a promoter, a gene that encodes a protein and a termination sequence. While other auxiliary components are involved, the promoter, gene and termination sequences are the necessary minimum for gene expression. In mammalian cells, messenger RNA (mRNA) must be transported from the nucleus, where transcription occurs, to the cytoplasm for translation into protein. The bgh-polyA sequence signals the addition of a “tail” of adenine-containing nucleotides to the 3′ end of the mRNA that stabilizes the mRNA for export to the cytoplasm. Upon reaching the cytoplasm, the polyA tail promotes protein translation and stabilizes the mRNA during protein expression.

The bgh-polyA sequence is part of RCT’s Gene Expression Technologies (GET) licensing program, which offers systems and components for gene expression at affordable costs. The GET program offers flexible, nonexclusive licenses with manageable fees and fractional royalties based on fields of use.


For information about licensing the bgh-polyA sequence, contact Jennifer T. Caldwell, Ph.D., GET program senior analyst, (520) 748-4441, (520) 748-0025 fax.