Categories | Inventors

Mammalian Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone Receptors and Uses (MC1)


OHSU # 0244

Technology Overview
The melanocortin 1 receptor (also known as the melanocyte-stimulating hormone receptor or MC1r) is one of the key proteins in regulating hair and skin color.  A member of the family of G-protein-coupled receptors, it functions at the surface of pigment producing cells (called melanocytes).  The proopiomelanocortin (POMC) gene product is processed to produce a large number of biologically active peptides. Two of these peptides, alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (aMSH), and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) have well understood roles in control of melanocyte and adrenocortical function, respectively. The melanocortin peptides have a diverse array of biological activities in mammalian tissues, including the brain, and immune system, and bind to specific receptors there with a distinct pharmacology.

This invention relates to MC1 receptors from mammalian species and the genes corresponding to such receptors. Specifically, the invention relates to the isolation, cloning and sequencing of MC1r gene. The invention also relates to the isolation, cloning and sequencing of MC1r. The invention relates to the construction of eukaryotic recombinant expression constructs capable of expressing these melanocyte stimulating hormone receptors in cultures of transformed eukaryotic cells, and the production of the melanocyte stimulating hormone receptor in such cultures. The invention relates to the use of such cultures of transformed eukaryotic cells to produce homogeneous compositions of such MC1 receptors. The invention also provides cultures of such cells producing melanocyte stimulating hormone receptor for the characterization of novel and useful drugs. Antibodies against and epitopes of these melanocyte stimulating hormone receptor proteins are also provided by the invention.

Market Summary
As the MC1 receptor is involved in a variety of conditions, from skin pigmentation to autoimmune disease and inflammation to melanoma, the market for this technology is vast. Just melanoma alone, more than 1 million new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed each year in the United States. The market for anti-inflammatory drugs to treat the inflammatory diseases was approximately $31.1 billion in 2005 and is projected to increase to $47.8 billion in 2010.

Inventor Profile
Roger Cone earned his Ph.D. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1985. He received his B.A. in Biochemistry from Princeton University. Starting in 1985, Cone was a fellow at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. In 1988, he became an assistant professor in the Division of Molecular Medicine at the New England Medical Center, where he remained until he accepted his appointment to the Vollum in 1990. Cone moved to Vanderbilt University in 2008 and is the Chair of the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics.


Science. 1992 Aug 28;257(5074):1248-51


Licensing Opportunity
The patent rights under OHSU 244 are available for non-exclusive or exclusive licensing.




IssuedUnited States5,849,871

Related Technologies:

  • OHSU # 0367 — Methods and Reagents for Using Mammalian Melanocortin Receptor Agonists and Antagonists to Modulate Feeding Behavior in Animals (MC3&4)
  • OHSU # 0245 — Mammalian Adrenocorticotropic Hormone Receptors and Uses (MC2)
  • OHSU # 0264 — Mammalian Melanocortin Receptors and Uses (MC3)
  • OHSU # 0387-A — Regulation of Exocrine Gland Function by Modulation of Melanocortin-5 Receptor (MC5-R) Activity


For more information, contact:

Robert Copenhaver
Technology Development Manager