Categories | Inventors

Mammalian Melanocortin Receptors and Uses (MC3)


OHSU # 0264

Technology Overview
This invention relates to the isolation, cloning and sequencing of a complementary DNA copy of the messenger RNA (mRNA) of a novel rat melanocortin receptor gene responsive to g-melanocyte stimulating hormone, a-melanocyte stimulating hormone and adrenocorticotropic hormone. This receptor has been termed the melanocortin-3 receptor (MC3-R). The invention relates to the construction of eukaryotic recombinant expression constructs capable of expressing MC3-R in cultures of transformed eukaryotic cells, and the production of MC3-R in such cultures. The invention relates to the use of such cultures of transformed eukaryotic cells to produce homogeneous compositions of MC3-R protein. The invention also provides cultures of such cells producing MC3-R for the characterization of novel and useful drugs. Antibodies against and epitopes of MC3-R protein are also provided by the invention.

MC3-R is expressed primarily in the CNS, in a limited number of hypothalamic and limbic system structures, where it appears to play a role in the regulation of energy homeostasis along with MC4-R.  Whereas the MC4-R primarily regulates food intake, the MC3-R does not affect food intake or energy expenditure.  MC3-R knockout mice exhibit increased fat mass due to increased feed efficiency.  Mice lacking both MC3-R and MC4-R show exacerbated obesity.  This receptor is also found in placenta and gut, and also appears to be required for the enhanced natriuresis resulting from unilateral nephrectomy. 

Market Summary
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.  In terms of obesity drug sales, one report showed that the obesity market generated more than $426Million in drug sales in 2000 and is expected to increase to over $1.3Billion by 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.


Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Oct 1;90(19):8856-60; Mamm Genome. 1994 Aug;5(8):503-8


Licensing Opportunity
The patent rights under OHSU 264 are available for non-exclusive or exclusive licensing.





IssuedUnited States5,994,087

Related Technologies:

  • OHSU # 0244 — Mammalian Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone Receptors and Uses (MC1)
  • OHSU # 0245 — Mammalian Adrenocorticotropic Hormone Receptors and Uses (MC2)
  • 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
  • OHSU # 0502 — Melanocortin-3 Receptor Knockout Mice
  • OHSU # 0640 — POMC transgenic mice and neuron-specific promoter


For more information, contact:

Robert Copenhaver
Technology Development Manager