Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Molecular Cloning of Orphanin FQ Receptor Gene and Differential Tissue Expression of Splice Variants

Technology #2060


Functional gastrointestinal (GI) and motility disorders affect millions of people of all ages, but presently few treatments are able to restore function. More than 50% of patients undergoing abdominal surgery suffer from post-operative ileus, which currently has no effective treatment. The investigators have demonstrated that Orphanin FQ (OFQ), a neruropeptide, in gastrointestinal tissues, plays a key role in stimulating colonic contraction without affecting gastric and small bowel motility. The ability of OFQ to minimize involvement of organs other than the colon is not only important in treating post-operative ileus, but constipation associated with pharmaceuticals and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).


Investigators at the University of Michigan have demonstrated that increasing the availability of OFQ increases motility and thus may be a treatment for functional GI and motility disorders. The proposed treatment would be more specifically directed towards improving the slow motility in the colon caused by surgical procedures, residual effects of opioid analgesics and GI motor disorders. Studies indicate that administering specific dosages of OFQ, its derivatives, or agonists increases motility of the colon and restores proper peristaltic movements.

Applications and Advantages


  • Orphanin FQ increases colonic mobility and-nl-peristaltic movements thus may be an effective-nl-therapeutic for post-operative ileus, constipation,-nl-gastric stasis syndrome and IBS


  • Minimizes involvement of organs other-nl-than the colon
  • Orphanin FQ specifically targets the lower-nl-GI tract to more effectively resolve-nl-constipation