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Title:  Death domain containing receptor-4

United States Patent:  6,433,147

Issued:  August 13, 2002

Inventors:  Ni; Jian (Rockville, MD); Rosen; Craig A. (Laytonsville, MD); Pan; James G. (Belmont, CA); Gentz; Reiner L. (Rockville, MD); Dixit; Vishva M. (Los Altos Hills, CA)

Assignee:  Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (Rockville, MD); The Regents of the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)

Appl. No.:  565918

Filed:  May 5, 2000

Abstract

The present invention relates to novel Death Domain Containing Receptor-4 (DR4) proteins which are members of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor family. In particular, isolated nucleic acid molecules are provided encoding the human DR4 proteins. DR4 polypeptides are also provided as are vectors, host cells and recombinant methods for producing the same. The invention further relates to screening methods for identifying agonists and antagonists of DR4 activity and methods for using DR4 polynucleotides and polypeptides.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides for isolated nucleic acid molecules comprising, or alternatively consisting of, nucleic acid sequences encoding the amino acid sequence shown in SEQ ID NO:2 or the amino acid sequence encoding the cDNA clone deposited as ATCC Deposit No. 97853 on Jan. 21, 1997.

The present invention also provides vectors and host cells for recombinant expression of the nucleic acid molecules described herein, as well as to methods of making such vectors and host cells and for using them for production of DR4 polypeptides or peptides by recombinant techniques.

The invention further provides an isolated DR4 polypeptide having an amino acid sequence encoded by a polynucleotide described herein.

The present invention also provides diagnostic assays such as quantitative and diagnostic assays for detecting levels of DR4 protein. Thus, for instance, a diagnostic assay in accordance with the invention for detecting over-expression of DR4, or soluble form thereof, compared to normal control tissue samples may be used to detect the presence of tumors.

Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) family ligands are known to be among the most pleiotropic cytokines, inducing a large number of cellular responses, including cytotoxicity, anti-viral activity, immunoregulatory activities, and the transcriptional regulation of several genes. Cellular response to TNF-family ligands include not only normal physiological responses, but also diseases associated with increased apoptosis or the inhibition of apoptosis. Apoptosis-programmed cell death-is a physiological mechanism involved in the deletion of peripheral T lymphocytes of the immune system, and its dysregulation can lead to a number of different pathogenic processes. Diseases associated with increased cell survival, or the inhibition of apoptosis, include cancers, autoimmune disorders, viral infections, inflammation, graft v. host disease, acute graft rejection, and chronic graft rejection. Diseases associated with increased apoptosis include AIDS, neurodegenerative disorders, myelodysplastic syndromes, ischemic injury, toxin-induced liver disease, septic shock, cachexia and anorexia.

Thus, the invention further provides a method for enhancing apoptosis induced by a TNF-family ligand, which involves administering to a cell which expresses the DR4 polypeptide an effective amount of an agonist capable of increasing DR4 mediated signaling. Preferably, DR4 mediated signaling is increased to treat and/or prevent a disease wherein decreased apoptosis is exhibited.

In a further aspect, the present invention is directed to a method for inhibiting apoptosis induced by a TNF-family ligand, which involves administering to a cell which expresses the DR4 polypeptide an effective amount of an antagonist capable of decreasing DR4 mediated signaling. Preferably, DR4 mediated signaling is decreased to treat and/or prevent a disease wherein increased apoptosis is exhibited.

Whether any candidate "agonist" or "antagonist" of the present invention can enhance or inhibit apoptosis can be determined using art-known TNF-family ligand/receptor cellular response assays, including those described in more detail below. Thus, in a further aspect, a screening method is provided for determining whether a candidate agonist or antagonist is capable of enhancing or inhibiting a cellular response to a TNF-family ligand. The method involves contacting cells which express the DR4 polypeptide with a candidate compound and a TNF-family ligand, assaying a cellular response, and comparing the cellular response to a standard cellular response, the standard being assayed when contact is made with the ligand in absence of the candidate compound, whereby an increased cellular response over the standard indicates that the candidate compound is an agonist of the ligand/receptor signaling pathway and a decreased cellular response compared to the standard indicates that the candidate compound is an antagonist of the ligand/receptor signaling pathway. By the invention, a cell expressing the DR4 polypeptide can be contacted with either an endogenous or exogenously administered TNF-family ligand.

Claim 1 of 28 Claims

What is claimed is:

1. An isolated polypeptide comprising an amino acid sequence at least 90% identical to amino acids 24 to 238 of SEQ ID NO:2;

wherein said polypeptide binds TRAIL.
 


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If you want to learn more about this patent, please go directly to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Web site to access the full patent.

 

 

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