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Method For Detecting Protein-Specific Glycosylation

O-GlcNAc modification is a common form of post-translational modification that mediates cellular activity and stem cell programming by modifying transcription factors. Multiple human diseases, including cancer and diabetes, have been linked to aberrant O-GlcNAcylation of specific proteins.Despite the importance of this modification, current methods for detection require advanced instrumentation and expertise as well as arduously enriched or purified samples. The “Glyco-seq” method developed by UC Berkeley researchers is highly sensitive, easy to use, and enables O-GlcNAc detection on proteins of interest in cell lysate. 

Multi-Channel Microfluidic Piezoelectric Impact Printer

High-throughput, automated, large-scale microarray format assay in a short time frame and at low cost.

Dielectrophoresis-Based Cell Destruction to Eliminate/Remove Unwanted Subpopulations of Cells

This invention allows for label free cell separations and cell enrichment.

Long Wavelength Voltage Sensitive Dyes

Rapid changes in the membrane potential of neurons and cardiomyocytes are used to define cellular signaling and cell physiological profiles. The classical means to monitor membrane potentials is patch clamp electrophysiology, a low-throughput and highly invasive technique. One current alternative is to use Ca2+ imaging, as the agents are robust and sensitive, come in a variety of colors, and can be used in a wide range of biological contexts. Ca2+ imaging, however, allows only an imperfect approximation of membrane potential changes, and fast-spiking neuronal events are difficult to detect.   Fluorescent voltage sensors can achieve fast, sensitive, and non-disruptive direct readouts of membrane potentials. UC Berkeley researchers have designed and synthesized a new fluorophore called ‘Berkeley Red’ that can be used in the context of voltage-sensing scaffolds to generate fluorescent voltage sensors.  

Detection System for Small Molecules

There is a great demand for sensitive tests that can be used for the detection of very small analytes. Standard ELISA assays require a competitive format that loses sensitivity and produces readings inversely proportional to the analyte concentration. However, researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed an efficient and easy assay to determine the presence of very small molecule analytes such as pollutants, pesticides, drugs, toxins, and pharmaceuticals.

Low-Cost Chromatin Assembly Kit

Brief description not available

Polypeptide-Based Vehicles for Intracellular Drug Delivery and Method of Generation

UCLA researchers in the Departments of Chemistry, Physics, and Bioengineering have developed a portfolio of polypeptide-based drug delivery systems and the processes for their generation. These delivery vehicles include polymeric vesicles, stabilized double emulsions, hydrogels, and new cell penetrating peptide (CPP) tags. These materials have applications toward pharmaceuticals, drug delivery, cosmetics, and personal care products.

Novel Multivalent Bioassay Reagents

The guiding principle for the creation of biomolecular recognition agents has been that affinity is essential for both strength and specificity.  Monoclonal antibodies, the dominant workhorse of affinity reagents, have mono-valent affinities in the uM-nM range with apparent affinities that can be sub nM with the bi-valency intrinsic in intact immunoglobulin structure.  The avidin-biotin interaction used ubiquitously for biomolecular assembly is femto-molar and both highly specific and essentially irreversible.  High affinity has been proclaimed the essential goal for the selection of useful specific aptamers, though there has been disagreement about a tight coupling of affinity and specificity.  

Imprinted Polymer Nanoparticles

Synthetic polymer nanoparticles (NPs) capable of recognizing specific biomacromolecules and neutralizing their activities can be used as substitutes for natural antibodies.

Voltage-Sensitive Fluorescent (VF) Dyes For Neuronal Imaging

The electrophysiological recordings of the activity of single neurons embedded within a network provides a powerful method for understanding brain function.  While this approach has proven incredibly powerful, real limitations exist, namely the invasive requirement of sticking an electrode into biological samples, severely disrupting underlying tissue, restricting recordings primarily to cellular soma, and making recording from multiple sites challenging or impossible. UC Berkeley researchers have developed compositions and methods for sparsely labeling neurons of cells with VF dyes.  The VF dyes are sensitive to small variations in neuronal transmembrane potentials and can respond both to rapid and sustained membrane potential changes. The invention is also less susceptible to capacitative loading issues and capable of providing a ratiometric fluorescence signal.    


UCLA researchers have developed a simple and inexpensive device that facilitates rapid diffusion of chemical reagents into bulky tissue samples.

Novel Highly Functionalized Organoborons and Methods of Making

A new synthetic method that allows for the incorporation of sensitive functional groups, like oxygen, to form heterocyclic boronic compounds. Such boronic compounds may be used in green and mild reactions like the Suzuki coupling to synthesize drugs and new materials.

A Novel Glycopolymer for Direct Write of Biomolecules by Lithography

UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have developed a novel glycopolymer to be used as the resist in the direct patterning of active biomolecules by electron beam lithography.

Polyclonal Antibody to Catestatin

The processing of Chromogranin A, a pro-hormone in secretory granules of chromaffin cells and post-ganglionic sympathetic neurons, yields several biologically active polypeptides including catestatin. Catestatin is a nicotinic-cholinergic antagonist that diminishes catecholamine release, and whose plasma concentration may be diminished in hypertension. Catestatin may also constitute an early or “intermediate phenotype” in assessing genetic risk for cardiovascular disease.

Monoclonal Antibodies Against Amyloid Beta Peptides

Seven monoclonal antibodies that react specifically with amyloid beta peptides can be used as the research tools for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research.

Targeted biological signal enhancement

This research tool consists of a two-vector system that can recruit an amplified biological signal to intra-cellular targets of interest.

Mass Spectrometry Reagents for Selective Alkylation and Charge Density Modification of Cysteine Residues

This invention comprises a family of small molecules that efficiently and selectively react with cysteine residues while imparting an additional positive charge to facilitate mass spectrometric and other analytical analyses.

Novel method to Efficiently Synthesize complex Carbohydrates

Tumor Associated Carbohydrate Antigens (TACAs), have been in great demand due their use as target therapies and industrial relevance. Unfortunately, Pk trisaccharide, the precursor to the globo series of TACAs requires eleven steps to synthesize using current technologies, seven of which are used to develop an orthogonally protected lactose. This is a very costly and painstaking process. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have developed a two-step method to synthesize orthogonally protected lactose from commercially available lactose, and a three step method to synthesize Pk, providing economic relief and time saving benefits for consumers and manufacturers of TACAs.

Functional Illumination In Living Cells

Current cell imaging techniques have been used to elucidate a variety of cell signaling pathways, and yet the most popular cell imaging tool, Fluorescent Proteins, have low fluorescence due to improper folding of chimeras and often inhibit cell function due to their large molecular weight. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have developed a novel method of developing a wide array of small functional illuminants that do not hinder cell function.

Expression, Purification, And Isolation Of The Full Length Human Breast Cancer Susceptibility Gene 2 (Brca2) Protein

Method for expression, purification, and isolation of the full length human breast cancer susceptibility gene 2 (BRCA2) protein.

Novel Monomeric And Bright Infrared Fluorescent Proteins

Genetically-encoded fluorescent proteins have revolutionized cell biology and gene expression studies. Biologists utilize a rainbow of fluorescent proteins, with colors extending across most of the visible spectrum. However, fluorescence imaging in live animals using these proteins has been impeded by the inability of visible light to penetrate the body. Imaging deep into biological tissue is a challenge because proteins in the blood and skin absorb the light wavelengths typically used to excite and visualize fluorescent proteins. Mammalian tissues are penetrable by near-infrared wavelengths but existing infrared technologies for live animal imaging are not optimal; they often consist of non-specific dyes or bulky, multimeric proteins that require the addition of exogenous cofactors. Thus a major limitation in the field of fluorescent imaging is the availability of a genetically-encoded fluorescent protein that is suitable for live animal research.    

Monovalent Quantum Dots For Biological Imaging Applications

Quantum dots (QDs) are highly sensitive cellular imaging tools with unique photophysical properties that have become powerful reagents for both basic and translational biomedical research. Emerging applications for QDs include biological imaging, detection of specific molecules for cancer diagnostics and monitoring the effects of stem cell therapies. However, use of commercially available multivalent QDs for imaging purposes remains limited, because multivalent QDs can perturb cell function, and purification of monovalent QDs is a very labor-intensive process that often results in low yields. Therefore, novel methods to develop biologically inert monovalent QDs amenable for large-scale development are critical.


Non-covalent macromolecular interactions of proteins with lipids, nucleic acids, small ligands, and other proteins underlie a vast majority of biological processes. The transient nature of these interactions makes it difficult to use traditional methods to detect specific non-covalent macromolecular interactions. Ubiquitination is one such macromolecular interaction cascade that results in the addition of ubiquitin to a wide variety of substrate proteins. The addition of ubiquitin represents an important regulatory mechanism in the cell to modulate global protein levels and specific signal transduction cascades. Ubiquitination of a substrate protein occurs as a result of a pyramidal cascade involving the sequential action of three classes of E1, E2, and E3 proteins. In general, a small number of E1-activating enzymes transfer ubiquitin to a limited number of E2-conjugating enzymes that in turn function together with a large number of E3-ubiquitin ligases to ubiquitinate a variety of substrate proteins. In humans for example, only two E1 enzymes can transfer ubiquitin to more than three-dozen E2-ubiquitin conjugating enzymes, which in turn can partner with several hundred E3-ligases to ubiquitinate thousands of target substrates. The pervasive use of ubiquitination as a regulatory mechanism in the cell, coupled with the transient nature of the interaction between E3-ligases and their respective substrates, presents the unique challenge of accurately identifying the appropriate E3-ligase/substrate pairs to better understand normal and pathological cellular processes.  

A Novel Reporter System that Detects DNA Mutations in Pluripotent Stem Cells

DNA mutation events (gene rearrangements, base-pair substitutions) cause genomic instability, and can lead to cell death or cancer. These events also potentially lead to gene dysfunction and genetic disorders. DNA mutation events have many possible causes, such as inherited mutations in genes involved in genomic integrity, or exposure to environmental toxins. Human stem cell technology, in which stem cells can be differentiated into any cell type in the body, has the great potential to advance the discovery of therapeutics for unmet medical needs. However, recent reports indicate increased DNA mutation frequency in stem cells, which limits their potential use for discovery or therapeutic purposes. Therefore, technologies that enable the detection of the different types of DNA mutations would advance the characterization and selection of human stem cell lines for discovery or therapeutic purposes, and help characterize the mutagenic potential of environmental toxins.

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