The patent's inventors are Kulaksiz, Hasan (Ulm, DE); Geacintov, Cyril E. (Mountainside, NJ); Janetzko, Alfred (Butzbach, DE); Stremmel, Wolfgang (Heidelberg, DE).
This patent was filed on July 18, 2011 and was cleared and issued on November 6, 2012.
From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "Iron is an essential trace element that is required indispensable for DNA synthesis and a broad range of metabolic processes. However, disturbances of iron metabolism have been implicated in a number of significant mammalian diseases, including, but not limited to iron deficiency anemia, hemosiderosis or the iron overload disease hemochromatosis (Andrews, N. C. (2000) Annu. Rev. Genomics Hum. Genet. 1, 75-98; Philpott, C. C. (2002) Hepatology 35, 993-1001; Beutler et al., (2001) Drug-Metab. Dispos. 29, 495-499). Excess iron accumulation has an adverse effect, as exemplified by patients with hereditary hemochromatosis, some of whom die at an early age from cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, and cardiac failure. Beutler et al., (2001) Drug-Metab. Dispos. 29, 495-499. Iron content in mammals is regulated by controlling absorption predominantly in the duodenum and upper jejunum, and is the only mechanism by which iron stores are physiologically controlled (Philpott, C. C. (2002) Hepatology 35, 993-1001). Following absorption, iron is bound to circulating transferrin and delivered to tissues throughout the body. The liver is the major site of iron storage. There, transferrin-bound iron is taken into the hepatocytes by receptor-mediated endocytosis via the classical transferring receptor (TfR1) (Collawn et al., (1990) Cell 63, 1061-1072) and presumably in greater amounts via the recently identified homologous transferrin receptor 2 (TfR2) (Kawabata et al., (1999) J. Biol. Chem. 274, 20826-20832). The extracellular domain of this protein is 45% identical to the corresponding portion of TfR1 (Id.). TfR2 can also bind diferric transferrin and facilitate the uptake of iron. Mutations in TfR2 have been associated with certain forms of hemochromatosis demonstrating the important role for TfR2 in iron homeostasis (Philpott, C. C. (2002) Hepatology 35, 993-1001; Camasehella et al., (2000) Nat. Genet. 25, 14-15; Fleming et al., (2002) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 99, 10653-10658). TfR2 is predominantly expressed in the liver (Fleming et al., (2000) Proc. Natl. Acadi. Sci. USA 97, 2214-2219; Subramaniam et al., (2002) Cell Biochem. Biophys. 36, 235-239), however, the exact cellular localization is still unknown.
"A feedback mechanism exists that enhances iron absorption in individuals who are iron deficient, and reduces iron absorption in subjects with iron overload (Andrews, N. C. (2000) Annu. Rev. Genomics Hum. Genet. 1, 75-98; Philpott, C. C. (2002) Hepatology 35, 993-1001; Beutler et al., (2001) Drug-Metab. Dispos. 29, 495-499). Nonetheless, the molecular mechanism by which the intestine responds to alterations in body iron requirements remains poorly understood. In this context, hepcidin, a recently identified mammalian polypeptide (Krause et al., (2000) FEES Lett. 480, 147-150; Park et al., (2001) J. Biol. Chem. 276, 7806-7810), is predicted as a key signaling component regulating iron homeostasis (Philpott, C. C. (2002) Hepatology 35, 993-1001; Nicolas et al., (2002) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 99, 4396-4601). Hepcidin was initially isolated as a 25 amino acid (aa) polypeptide in human plasma and urine exhibiting antimicrobial activity (Krause et al., (2000) FEES Lett. 480, 147-150; Park et al., (2001) J. Biol. Chem. 276, 7806-7810). A hepcidin cDNA encoding an 83 aa precursor in mice and an 84 aa precursor in rat and man, including a putative 24 aa signal peptide, were subsequently identified searching for liver specific genes that were regulated by iron (Pigeon et al., (2001) J. Biol. Chem. 276, 7811-7819).
"Since the discovery that hepcidin expression is abolished in mice exhibiting iron-overload due to the targeted disruption of upstream stimulatory factor 2 (Usf2) gene resembling the same phenotype as found in Nicolas, O., Bennoun, M., Devaux, I., Beaumont, C., Grandchamp, B., Kahn, A. & Vaulont, S. (2001) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 98, 8780-8785, it has become evident that this peptide plays a pivotal role in iron metabolism. In contrast, overexpression of hepcidin was shown to result in severe iron deficiency anemia in transgenic mice (Nicolas et al., (2002) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 99, 4396-4601), indicating that hepcidin is a central regulator of iron homeostasis. However, the mechanism by which hepcidin balances the body iron stores or adjusts the dietary iron absorption still remains to be identified. In this respect, the cellular and subcellular localization of this peptide is of decisive importance in the search for the signaling route. Although Northern blot analysis of human and mouse hepcidin mRNA levels in various organs revealed that hepcidin is predominantly expressed in liver, no data exist on the cellular source of this polypeptide (Krause et al., (2000) FEES Lett. 480, 147-150; Park et al., (2001) J. Biol. Chem. 276, 7806-7810; Nicolas et al., (2002) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 99, 4396-4601)."
Supplementing the background information on this patent, NewsRx reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present invention concerns hepcidin regulation of iron uptake by mammalian cells and the use of hepcidin and/or hepcidin specific antibodies in the diagnosis of diseases involving disturbances of iron metabolism. The diagnostic detection kits of the present invention can be particularly useful in screening the overall population of either humans or animals and identifying those subjects who have these diseases.
"One aspect of the invention is a method for diagnosing a disease condition characterized by non-physiological levels of hepcidin, comprising obtaining a tissue or fluid sample from a subject; contacting the sample with an antibody or fragment thereof that specifically binds to a polypeptide from the mid-portion (amino acids 20 to 50 of SEQ. ID. NO: 2) or C-terminus of hepcidin (amino acids 65 to of SEQ. ID. NO: 2), and quantifying the hepcidin level using an assay based on binding of the antibody and the polypeptide; wherein the non-physiological level of hepcidin is indicative of the disease condition. In one aspect of the present invention, sensitive diagnostic methods and kits were established enabling the detection of pro-hepcidin in human plasma. The invention opens a broad range of therapeutic perspectives, where a hepcidin antibody and diagnostic methods and kits can be used for the determination of hepcidin as a parameter for the progress of the diseases mentioned above during and after therapy.
"One embodiment of the invention concerns the generation and purification of a hepcidin protein and fragments thereof. Another embodiment of the invention concerns hepcidin specific antibodies, or fragments or variants thereof that, in turn, can be used in immunoassays to detect a hepcidin protein in suspected humans or animals.
"In another aspect of the invention, the hepcidin diagnostic methods and kits can be used in genetic technological approaches, such as for overexpressing or downregulating hepcidin.
"In still another aspect of the invention, hepcidin can be used in therapeutic treatment of the diseases described herein, by treating subjects with hepcidin, and agonists or antagonists of hepcidin. Iron uptake in cells could be modulated by varying the concentration of hepcidin, inhibiting hepcidin binding to iron or to the TfR2 receptor. Accordingly, hepcidin, and agonists or antagonists of hepcidin may be useful in the treatment of conditions where there is a disturbance in iron metabolism. For example, such substances may be useful in the treatment of such aforementioned diseases."
For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Kulaksiz, Hasan; Geacintov, Cyril E.; Janetzko, Alfred; Stremmel, Wolfgang. Diagnostic Method for Diseases by Screening for Hepcidin in Human Or Animal Tissues, Blood Or Body Fluids and Therapeutic Uses Therefor. U.S. Patent Number 8304197, filed July 18, 2011, and issued November 6, 2012. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser'Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=74&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=3696&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=20121106.PD.&OS=ISD/20121106&RS=ISD/20121106
Keywords for this news article include: Antibodies, Immunology, Transferrin, Beta-Globulins, Blood Proteins, Immunoglobulins, Acute-Phase Proteins, Iron-Binding Proteins, DRG International Inc..
Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2012, NewsRx LLC
NewsRx also is available at LexisNexis, Gale, ProQuest, Factiva, Dialog, Thomson Reuters, NewsEdge, and Dow Jones.