Screen for Intermediate Filament Specific Compounds

Period of Performance: 09/01/1998 - 08/31/1999


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Denver, CO 80206
Principal Investigator


Eukaryotic intermediate filaments (IFs) constitute one of the major classes of cytoskeletal filament proteins. Considering their abundance and the pivotal role played by the cytoskeleton in health and disease, it is surprising that the cellular functions of IFs is so poorly understood. Recent evidence, however, strongly indicates that IFs play a major role in many diseases, including neurodegeneration, viral infection and replication and certain cancers. Such evidence suggests that IFs hold great potential as therapeutic drug targets and indicates that we clearly need to learn more about this important class of protein. Accordingly, it is the aim of this Phase I proposal to develop a reliable high throughput screening (HTS) assay that will allow the identification of IF specific compounds. We are confident that such compounds have major medical and economic potential, with applications as basic research tools, diagnostic probes and therapeutic drugs. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: The commercial application of the proposed research is to develop a screen that will enable the identification of specific ligands for any intermediate filament. The commercial applications are in diagnostics, therapies and basic research.