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Patent Pick: Trigger Happy

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What's a good way to identify receptor/ligand pairs that respond to scent and taste stimuli? University of Geneva inventors are "trigger happy" over a new in vivo answer, described in this patent application.

Method for identifying ligand/receptor pairs responsive to stimuli
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/030378
Publication date: March 3, 2016
Assignee: Universite de Genève

This invention describes a method for identifying pairs of receptors and ligands in relation to stimuli relevant to the food, fragrance and health industries.

According to the inventors, the method allows the rapid and easy identification of receptors that respond to specific compounds in vivo. This constitutes a critical tool for large-scale screening of agonists and antagonists.

The inventors found, in mice and flies, that following in vivo or ex vivo exposure to a chemical stimulus, olfactory sensory neurons responding to it quickly modulate the amount of transcripts corresponding to the olfactory receptor they express. The method was developed based on these alterations in mRNA expression.

Although primarily illustrated with olfactory receptors/ligands, the invention can be extended to other chemoreceptors/ligands pairs, other species and to transgenic species expressing specific chemoreceptors.

Patent application accessed March 14, 2016.

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