Categories | Inventors

Mammalian Adrenocorticotropic Hormone Receptors and Uses (MC2)


OHSU # 0245

Technology Overview
The present invention relates to the mammalian adrenocorticotropic hormone receptor (ACTH) which is a type of melanocortin receptor (MC2). The fact that this receptor belongs to the melanocortin receptor family implies close association between several physiological processes including stress homeostatic mechanisms, regulation of food intake, immunity and skin function.  This receptor is found in the zona fasciculate of the adrenal cortex and stimulates production of cortisol.  The invention is directed toward the isolation, characterization and pharmacological use of the MC2 receptor, the gene corresponding to this receptor, a recombinant eukaryotic expression construct capable of expressing a mammalian adrenocorticotropic hormone receptor in cultures of transformed eukaryotic cells and such cultures of transformed eukaryotic cells that synthesize mammalian adrenocorticotropic hormone receptor. The invention also provides methods for screening MC2r agonists and antagonists in vitro using preparations of receptor from such cultures of eukaryotic cells transformed with a recombinant eukaryotic expression construct comprising the MC2r receptor gene. 

Overexpression of this receptor or inability to desensitize it is found in adrenal adenomas or hyperplasia associated with glucocorticoid overproduction (Cushing syndrome). These disorders are uncommon, but there are considerable data to show that the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis is overactive in common situations including depression, obesity, diabetes mellitus, and anorexia nervosa, or in some circumstances underactive such as in septic shock and rheumatoid arthritis

Market Summary
As the MC2 receptor is involved in a variety of conditions, the potential market for this technology is vast.   For smaller markets such as for Cushing syndrome, an estimated 10 to 15 of every million people are affected each year.  Larger markets such as obesity is projected to include 139 million obese people the U.S, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, U.K. and Japan by the year 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;   Ann NY Acad Sci. 1993 May 31;680:342-63


Licensing Opportunity
The patent rights under OHSU 245 are available for non-exclusive or exclusive licensing.





IssuedUnited States5,773,229

Related Technologies:

  • OHSU # 0244 — Mammalian Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone Receptors and Uses (MC1)
  • OHSU # 0264 — Mammalian Melanocortin Receptors and Uses (MC3)
  • OHSU # 0367 — Methods and Reagents for Using Mammalian Melanocortin Receptor Agonists and Antagonists to Modulate Feeding Behavior in Animals (MC3&4)
  • 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