SBIR Phase I: Development of Fluorescent Probes for Protein Phosphorylation

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1045735
Agency Tracking Number: 1045735
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: BC
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
480 South Horizon Way, Branchburg, NJ, 08853-4026
DUNS: 832807163
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Hung-Teh Kao
 (401) 654-6332
Business Contact
 Hung-Teh Kao
Title: PhD
Phone: (401) 654-6332
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project proposes to optimize and market a genetically-encoded fluorescent biosensor responsive to protein phosphorylation. This product is based on a proprietary fluorescent protein discovered from a marine organism. This protein, termed PhosFluor, exhibits dramatic changes in spectral properties when incubated with different protein kinases. Phosphorylation increases the fluorescence of PhosFluor by more than 300%, and its emission spectra undergo a ratiometric shift. If optimization is successful, this product would represent the first available single-molecule probe for phosphorylation / dephosphorylation, a tool of potentially vast utility for cell biology research. The broader/commercial impacts of this research are to significantly improve the detection of protein kinase activity, which in turn will accelerate research in this field as well as develop tools to screen for pharmaceutical compounds that affect phosphorylation. Lucidicor anticipates a high demand for products based on PhosFluor. One product line are kits to enable investigators to easily measure the activity of protein kinases in real-time. Another product line is a panel of expression plasmids to enable visualization of phosphorylation within cells in real-time. The burgeoning field of signal transduction will likely welcome an innovation that enables quantitative spatio-temporal analyses of phosphorylation events. Advances made in this field will, in turn, accelerate applications for the use of PhosFluor. Consequently, there is a tremendous business opportunity to create a commercially viable product from this unique protein.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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