WARF: P00305US

Receptor For Bacillus anthracis Toxin


John Young, Kenneth Bradley, R. John Collier, Jeremy Mogridge

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in the structure and sequence of the anthrax toxin receptor.
OVERVIEWInfection with Bacillus anthracis, the spore-forming causative agent of anthrax, can result in either a generally benign, self-limiting cutaneous disease or a more serious and often fatal systemic disease. The serious, systemic form of anthrax results from the inhalation of spores and is caused by anthrax toxin. Because B. anthracis spores can be inexpensively prepared and delivered as an aerosol to cause the deadly inhalation form of infection, B. anthracis spores have become one of the most dreaded agents of biowarfare and bioterrorism.
THE INVENTIONUW-Madison researchers have now provided the structure and sequence of the anthrax toxin receptor. The complete receptor includes an extracellular domain, a transmembrane domain and a cytoplasmic domain that can vary in length.

Identification of the sequence of the anthrax toxin receptor (ATR) will enable the detection and quantification of ATR mRNA and protein in a sample, and will also allow the generation of transgenic and knockout animals. This should lead to methods for treating human and non-human animals suffering from anthrax. For example, the inventors have demonstrated the therapeutic effectiveness of this invention by showing in tissue culture models that a soluble form of the receptor can block anthrax toxin by acting like a decoy.
  • Development of therapeutics to treat anthrax infection
  • Receptor may be used by pharmaceutical companies to screen for drugs that specifically block anthrax toxin entry by interfering with the toxin-receptor interaction
  • May provide more treatment strategies for anthrax infection
  • Provides a potential cancer target
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Rafael Diaz at or 608-960-9847.
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