ANN Arbor, Mich. — (BUSINESS WIRE)
February 25, 2009
January 14, 2009: Arbor Assays and University of Michigan Patent New Demethylase Assay Technology
Two scientists at Arbor Assays, LLC and Professor Ray Trievel from the Department of Biological Chemistry at the University of Michigan filed a US patent application that relates to a new, novel method to detect demethylase enzyme activity. Demethylase enzymes remove methyl groups attached to DNA, proteins and toxins and have become areas of intense interest. The two known classes of demethylase enzymes use different mechanisms to demethylate their targets produce formaldehyde as the product of the reaction. Classical methods for detecting formaldehyde generation involve the use of radioactive substrates for the demethylases. The new technology allows demethylase activity to be determined by the addition of a single reagent that produces a fluorescent signal in direct proportion to the amount of formaldehyde produced. Kits based on the technology will be available by the spring of 2009.
Dr. Russell Hart, one of the founders of Arbor Assays, and a founder of Assay Designs in Ann Arbor, and of London Diagnostics in Minneapolis, said, “This method makes the detection of the activity of this important group of enzymes a simple process that can be done on multiple samples at one time using instrumentation already in place for low, medium or high throughput screening. In addition the method allows results generated in different labs around the globe to be standardized on the product of these reactions, formaldehyde. More importantly this is an excellent example of University of Michigan-life science company collaboration that yields intellectual property, life science employment and long term economic growth for Michigan.”
Professor Ray Trievel said, “Enzymatic demethylation of protein and DNA has emerged as an important pathway for regulating gene expression and other genomic processes. Several histone demethylases have been implicated in the onset and progression of various forms of cancer, underscoring the biomedical importance of these enzymes. The development of this formaldehyde detection assay will furnish a novel high-throughput method for identifying, characterizing, and optimizing inhibitors against histone demethylases and other formaldehyde-generating enzymes of pharmaceutical importance.”
About Arbor Assays, LLC
Arbor Assays LLC was founded in 2007 by three of the senior scientists from Assay Designs, Inc., two of whom were the founders of that company. Arbor Assays is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan and develops novel assay kit products for the detection of important biological molecules.