Available Technology

Synthetic Peptide that Causes Bundling of F-Actin in Vitro and in Situ IB-1571

Carolyn Larabell, Steven Huber and Heike Winter have synthesized a peptide that is capable, in a very specific manner, of changing the organization (‘bundling’) of filamentous actin (F-actin) in vitro and, importantly, also in situ. The synthetic peptide (SS2), derived from the sequence of a plant-specific enzyme, may prevent cell division by causing irreversible actin bundling in situ. The synthetic peptide has also been demonstrated to prevent the formation of “actin comet tails” in vitro — the process that produces the motile actin tail utilized by certain pathogenic bacteria (e.g. Listeria monocytogenes) and viruses (Vaccinia) to travel from cell to cell in their host without encountering the immune system. These in vitro and in situ effects of the peptide suggest potential approaches as a pharmaceutical drug to block cell division of rapidly growing cells (i.e., cancer cells); to block the rapid spread of certain highly pathogenic bacteria that infect humans through contaminated foods; and to block the spread of certain viral infections. This peptide may, furthermore, be extremely useful in prevention of metastasis. Finally, the synthetic peptide can also be useful as a tool for basic research to study the role of the actin cytoskeleton in various processes in vivo and in vitro.
Synthetic peptide - Prevents cell division - Prevents formation of “actin comet tails”
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Patent Status: 
Published Patent Application. Available for licensing or collaborative research
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