University of Delaware OEIP
University of Delaware

Novel Approach for Detecting the Activities of Protein Kinases

Technology #ud06-27

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Neal Zondlo
The Zondlo Research Group focuses on the design, synthesis and development of small molecules and minimalist polymers with biological activity, the elucidation of fundamental principles of and discovery of effectors of biological interactions, the development of novel, functional proteins, and the development of novel and practical methods of synthesis and enantioselective catalysis.
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Shalini Balakrishnan
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Goswami Joy
Assistant Director, Technology Transfer Center 3028313547
Patent Protection

Protein kinase-inducible domains

US Patent US 8003759

Protein kinase-inducible domains

US Patent US 8148506
Design of a Protein Kinase-Inducible Domain
Journal of American Chemical Society, 2006, 128 (17), pp 5590–5591

Technology Description:

This technology involves the development of an approach to detect the activities of protein kinases.  Protein kinases and phosphatases are two classes of enzyme that modify cellular protein which leads to changes in regulation and cellular control.  Humans have over 500 kinases and 100 phosphatases.  Changes in their activities have been implicated in cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease.  To detect the activities of kinases, proteins have been developed whose structures depend on action by a certain protein kinase.  The approach is designed to be applicable to the specific imaging of the activities of each of the individual protein kinases and phosphatases.  The novel breakthrough is usage of phosphoserine and phosphotheronine to mimic glutamic acid to indicate kinase activity.


  • Genetically encodable 
  • 300-1000% increase in fluorescence, compared to  25% change seen with existing sensors 
  • Genetic encodability and large changes in fluorescence not seen together in current sensors 
  • Method to detect cancerous and pre-cancerous cells