Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Drug Discovery & Development
Drug Discovery Development
Collection of Temperature-Sensitive Paralytic Mutants of Drosophila
WARF: P99190US

Inventors: Barry Ganetzky, Robert Kreber

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation is seeking commercial partners interested in a collection of more than 100 temperature-sensitive paralytic mutants of Drosophila.
Drosophila commonly are used as model organisms.  As many as 70 percent of human disease genes have homologues in Drosophila, making these organisms useful for identifying particular disease genes as well as subsequent assays for drug development.
The Invention
UW-Madison researchers have compiled several temperature-sensitive paralytic mutants of Drosophila. The collection consists of more than 100 different neurological mutants that are behaviorally normal at 25 degrees C, but display severe locomotor defects, including uncoordinated movement, ataxia, seizures or complete paralysis, within five minutes of exposure to 38 degrees C. The phenotypes are reversible upon return to 25 degrees. Kinetics of paralysis and recovery vary from strain to strain, but are characteristic to any particular mutant.

Genes affected by these mutations include those encoding ion channel subunits, ion channel regulators, components of the synaptic release machinery and other proteins required for proper neuronal signaling, viability and development. Most of the mutations were induced by ethylmethane sulfonate, a chemical mutagen; others were generated by transposable-element mutagenesis.
  • Screening programs aimed at identifying novel pharmaceutical agents and drug targets in an in vivo biological system
  • Functional genomic studies to identify novel genes involved in neural function and disease
Key Benefits
  • Mutants provide a useful experimental model for human neuromuscular disorders, including epilepsies, muscular dystrophies, periodic paralyses, myotonias, dystonias and others.
Additional Information
For More Information About the Inventors
For current licensing status, please contact Jennifer Gottwald at [javascript protected email address] or 608-960-9854