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Stem cells have the potential to develop into different types of cells. They are key to an organism’s development. Producing stem cell lines are important for research. Currently, avian embryonic stems cells are cultured on a layer of feeder cells. Feeder cells ensure that the stem cells survive and do not differentiate into other types of cells. However, using feeder cells can be costly and inconvenient.

Cellular Protein CDH4 Inhibiting Peptide

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a unique peptide that induces cell differentiation by inhibiting cellular protein CHD4, a promising approach to target dedifferentiated cancer cells and for cell therapy.

Three-dimensional organoid culture system for basic, translational, and drug discovery research

Researchers at UC Irvine have developed an organoid culture system capable of generating three-dimensional molecular gradients. This recapitulates in vivo tissue development more accurately than current two-dimensional organoid culture systems and will allow scientists to study human-specific disease mechanisms in native tissue.

Hyperthermophilic Single-Peptide For Deconstruction Of Crystalline Cellulose

Cellulose, the major component of plant biomass, is considered the most abundant biopolymer. Certain microorganisms are able to convert the monomer of cellulose, glucose, into various products useful in the production of biofuels and other methods. Cellulose is highly stable, has a high storage potential, low cost, and plentiful supply. Based on these and other properties, cellulose and enzymes capable of degrading and hydrolyzing it are useful in the sequestration, storage, and production of bioenergy.  Crystalline cellulose is composed of linear polymers of β1-4 linked glucose, held in a tightly crosslinked crystalline lattice by a high degree of intermolecular hydrogen bonding. This structure confers stability but also hinders efficient deconstruction of cellulose. Strategies for commercial depolymerization of cellulose typically combine pretreatment to disrupt the crystalline structure, followed by enzymatic hydrolysis. Disruption of the crystalline structure and chemical hydrolysis typically requires high temperatures and low pH. Enzymatic hydrolysis generally occurs under milder conditions. The degree of pretreatment required and the expense of subsequent cleanup steps are affected by properties of the enzymes used. Bacteria capable of degrading cellulose include those belonging to the genera Aquifex, Rhodothermus, Thermobifida, Anaerocellum, and Caldicellulosiruptor. A recombinant thermostable endoglucanase of Aquifex aeolicus produced in E. coli showed maximal activity at 80° C. and pH 7.0 with a half-life of 2 h at 100° C.  UC Berkeley investigators have engineered a polypeptide having cellulase activity for hydrolysis and degradation of cellulose-containing biomass.

Cell Perneable Cyclic Peptide Scaffolds

For the growing list of "undruggable" targets that lack well defined binding pockets  a consensus is emerging that successful inhibìtors will necessarily be larger and more complex than typical small molecule drugs. The targets of existing small molecule drugs make up only a small fraction of the protein encoding genome, and it is estimated that the total "druggable" genome (accessible to inhibition by classic small molecules) represents a small fraction of the total number of potential targets. The number of therapeutic targets that have been unexploited due to poor druggability, such as transcription factors and non-coding RNAs, therefore represent a vast opportunity to make therapeutic advances in virtually every disease category. Macrocycles - in particular, cyclic peptides - have shown remarkable versatility as ligands against challenging therapeutic targets such as protein-protein interactions (PPls). Cyclization is an established method for improving potency in peptides, and cyclization can dramatically improve proteolytic stability. Importantly, the synthesis of cyclic peptides is much more modular and straightforward than the synthesis of organic molecules of similar size and complexity. Large combinatorial lìbraries of cyclic peptides, derived from methods such as DNA-encoded synthesis, phage display and mRNA-d¡splay, have yielded potent inhibitors against a variety of undruggable or challenging targets.

Mitochondria Targeting Photosensitizer for Photodynamic Therapy

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a self-assembling, fibrous photosensitizer that targets mitochondria in tumor cells for destruction via photodynamic therapy with enhanced localization and potency.

Systems And Methods For Performing Peptide Exchange Reactions Using Placeholder Peptides And Catalytic Amounts Of The Molecular Chaperone TAPBPR

Tech ID 32985/Case number 2018-408 describes the generation of E. coli expressed, peptide receptive MHC-I monomers and multimers using the TAPBPR chaperone. In this case, the technology was improved based upon the surprising discovery that the TAPBPR chaperone acts catalytically on MHC-I-placeholder peptide complexes to create peptide receptive MHC-I species. 

Systems And Methods For The Preparation Of Peptide Receptive Mhc-I/Chaperone Complexes With Native Glycan Modifications

Typically, peptide receptive MHC-I multimer reagents are prepared in bacterial (E. coli) culture. While this is efficient, it does not result in glycosylation of the MHC-I peptide fragments as is done in mammalian cells. As a result, if such reagents are produced in mammalian cells, proper glycosylation would result and the reagents would have a potentially more accurate representation of the natural T-cell target.  

Polysaccharide A-Based Particulate Systems For Attenuation Of Autoimmunity, Allergy and Transplant Rejection

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a customizable polysaccharide that can be added to nanoparticles to reduce their rejection by the human immune system.

DP-L4056 Prophage-Cured Strain Of Listeria Monocytogenes

DP-L4056 is a prophage-cured strain of Listeria monocytogenes based on wild-type strain 10403S. A prophage is a bacteriophage genome that is integrated into a bacterial genome. It remains latent until activation by an external factor, and activation leads to production of new bacteriophage particles that lyse the bacterial cell and spread. Curing the prophages in Listeria monocytogenes strain 10403S, which is ubiquitous in the microbiology community as a wild-type reference strain, allows for more predictable engineering and performance of Listeria monocytogenes.

Compositions and Methods Useful in Promoting Milk Production

The mammary gland is responsible for producing milk in mammals. Producing a milk supply involves significantly accelerated cell growth and differentiation. It is thought that alveologenesis, the process by which milk-producing alveoli are made, occurs when alveolar progenitor cells differentiate into milk-producing alveolar cells. Thus, promoting alveolar differentiation is important in increasing milk production. Various industries, such as the dairy industry, may be interested in increasing milk production generally or increasing milk production without the use of hormones.

Systems And Methods For Generating Class 1 Major Histocompatibility Complex Multimer Screening Reagents Using Chaperone Mediated Peptide Exchange

MHC Class I multimers are key reagents that are used in the identification of antigen specific T cells + an antigenic peptide. The most useful form of such a reagent involves a Class I MHC molecule that is provided ready to be loaded with an antigenic peptide of interest. However, such molecules are inherently unstable. Potential solutions to the instability have major drawbacks. Some MHC Class I molecules are provided with a conditional ligand that can be cleaved by exposure to UV light. These constructs are prone to aggregation and precipitation, must be stored and worked with in the dark, and they can have relatively poor peptide exchange efficiency. Other peptide receptive MHC class I molecules are engineered to have disulfide links holding the peptide to the MHC-I binding groove. In addition to altering natural peptide-MHC-I binding, such molecules are diffficult to express in bacterial vectors.UC Santa Cruz researchers and the Office of Innovation Transfer have collaborated to produce a robust patent portfolio around a new method of producing peptide receptive class I MHC multimers that produce MHC-I molecules at a high yield with highly efficient peptide exchange. A description of the original system (2018-408) is below. Related inventions include: 2019-975 - a system that uses peptide receptive MHC-I made using TAPBPR to purify a antigenic peptides from a peptide library. The peptides bind to immobilized peptide receptive MHC-I conjugated to a column, then are later eluted. 2020-284 - specific placeholder peptides and methods for creating peptide receptive HLA-A*68:02 and HLA*A24:022020-297 -  an invention resulting from the surprising result that TAPBPR acts catalytically on MHC-I/placeholder peptide complexes to form peptide receptive MHC-I. A 1:10,000 ration of TAPBPR:MHC-I placeholder peptide produces peptide receptive MHC-I as efficiently as a 1:1 ratio. 2020-251 - co-expression of TAPBPR with MHC-I in mammalian cells. This has the following advantages: (a) placeholder peptides are not needed, (b) peptide receptive MHC-I can be purified directly from the culture, (c) the MHC-I molecules are glycosylated as they would be in a mammalian immune system.  

(SD2022-092) Cannabinoid production

Brief description not available

Dropblot Design Integrates Droplet Microfluidics With Single-Cell Electrophoresis

Single-cell analyses are revolutionizing biomedicine and biology, with genomics (DNA) and transcriptomics (RNA) tools leading the way. At the protein-level, single-cell analyses are limited to mass spectrometry and immunoassays. Neither assay provides comprehensive coverage of proteome for single cells, missing key protein forms (called isoforms).  UC Berkeley researchers have developed a hybrid droplet-electrophoresis device, termed “DropBlot”, to detect proteins from patient-derived tissue biospecimens relevant to clinical medicine and pathology. The DropBlot takes advantage of water-in-oil (W/O) droplets to encapsulate single cells derived from chemically fixed tissues, thus providing a picoliter-volume reaction chamber in which said cells are lysed and subjected to harsh lysis conditions (100ºC, 2 hours), as needed for fixed cells. We report an all-in-one microdevice to facilitate cell-laden droplet loading with >98% microwell occupancy. Droplets remain intact under the electric field and protein isoforms are shown to electromigrate out of the droplet and into a microfluidic separation channel where protein sizing takes place via the action of electrophoresis in a photoactive polyacrylamide (PA) gel. DropBlot has been successfully applied to live and fixed cancer cell lines and resolved proteins with high sensitivity.

Genome Editing via LNP-Based Delivery of Efficient and Stable CRISPR-Cas Editors

The CRISPR-Cas system is now understood to confer bacteria and archaea with acquired immunity against phage and viruses. CRISPR-Cas systems consist of Cas proteins, which are involved in acquisition, targeting and cleavage of foreign DNA or RNA, and a CRISPR array, which includes direct repeats flanking short spacer sequences that guide Cas proteins to their targets. The programmable nature of these systems has facilitated their use as a versatile technology that is revolutionizing the field of genome manipulation. There is a need in the art for additional CRISPR-Cas systems with improved cleavage and manipulation under a variety of conditions and ones that are particularly thermostable under those conditions. UCB researchers created a set of efficient CRISPR-Cas9 proteins from a thermostable Cas9 from the thermophilic bacterium Geobacillus stearothermophilus (GeoCas9) through directed evolution. The gene editing activity of the evolved mutant proteins was improved by up to four orders of magnitude compared to the wild-type GeoCas9. The researchers showed that the gene editors based on the evolved GeoCas9 can be effectively assembled into lipid nanoparticles (LNP) for the rapid delivery to different cell lines in vitro as well as different organs or tissues in vivo. The LNP-based delivery strategy could also be extended to other gene editors.  

A Broadly Neutralizing Molecule Against Clostridium Difficile Toxin B

Researchers at UCI have developed a family of recombinant protein therapeutics against Clostridium difficile designed to provide broad-spectrum protection and neutralization against all isoforms of its main toxin, TcdB. These antitoxin molecules feature fragments of TcdB’s human receptors (CSPG4 and FZD) which compete for TcdB binding, significantly improving upon existing antibody therapeutics for Clostridium difficile infections.

Sequential Targeting and Crosslinking Nanoparticles for Tackling the Multiple Barriers to Treat Brain Tumors

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed an approach to improve drug delivery to tumors and metastases in the brain. Their multi-barrier tackling delivery strategy has worked to efficiently impact brain tumor management while also achieving increased survival times in anti-cancer efficacy.

Methods Related To Cell-Microgel Encapsulation In Injectable Formulations

Injectable hydrogels are attracting increasing interest for the therapeutic delivery of cells to tissue. However, these hydrogel formulations can suffer from engraftment efficiencies of less than 5% when delivered to native tissue. These poor engraftment efficiency rates are often attributed to high shear stresses during delivery and inability to provide a stable three-dimensional niche at the delivery site. The inventors have developed a technique for encapsulating cells in the pore space between microscopic hydrogel particles by employing the yield stress fluid properties of packs of microgels. The technology protects the cells from mechanical stress during delivery and facilitates integration to the native tissue. During delivery, the packs of microgels undergo plug flow in which the pressure drop across the length of the pipe is compensated solely by frictional forces at the interface between the pipe wall and microgels. At the delivery site, the pack of microgels behave as an elastic solid across the range of physiological frequencies and provide a stable 3D culture paradigm to support engraftment.Furthermore, the inventors address the challenges associated with cryopreserving, transporting, and delivering this injectable formulation from benchtop-to-bedside with a concept for a perfusable delivery device. The device encapsulates cells in the pore space of the microgels and confines the formulation to a fixed volume where researchers can perfuse liquid freeze/thaw or maintenance media, differentiation factors, and anti-inflammatory agents at virtually any time prior to delivery to the tissue. The porous microgel network facilitates this process and makes the formulation amenable to transport and storage which would otherwise be unattainable in hydrogel formulations.

Strains Of The Plant-Associated Bacterium Xylella Fastidiosa

Xylella fastidiosa is a plant pathogenic bacterium that causes various diseases in California and elsewhere. UC Berkeley researchers have collected strains of this pathogen from symptomatic grapevines from different regions in California. These are pure cultures of a bacterial plant pathogen.

Genetically Engineered Dendritic Cell-Derived Vaccines

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a new vaccine which generates a targeted, specific immune response with fewer complications than currently available vaccines.

Magnetochromatic Spheres

Brief description not available

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These technologies are part of the UC QuickStart program.