Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Methods and Compositions for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Lupus

Technology #4046

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James A. Shayman
Managed By
Ed Pagani
Associate Director, Health Technologies 734-763-3558
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending
US Patent Pending
US Patent Pending
Cloning and characterization of a lysosomal phospholipase A2, 1-O-acylceramide synthase.
J Biol Chem, Volume 277. Page 10090. 2002
Lysosomal phospholipase A2 and phospholipidosis
Mol Cell Biol, Volume 26. Page 6139. 2006

UM File # 4046

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease that affects multiple organs including skin, kidneys, liver, lungs, heart, and lymphoid organs. It is estimated to affect 1.5 – 2 million Americans. To date, there is no cure for lupus, and the treatment is focused mainly on amelioration of the symptoms. As such, lupus treatment that targets the disease at the molecular level may significantly improve the current treatment protocol for lupus.
Technology Description
University of Michigan researchers have discovered and characterized a novel lysosomal protein, lysosomal phospholipase A2 (LPLA2). This protein is an enzyme that converts phospholipids into other forms of fatty acids. They have found that mice lacking LPLA2 exhibit phenotypes that are characteristic of lupus, including late onset of autoimmunity and proliferation of lymphocytes, as manifested by enlargement of liver and spleen. This enzyme is secreted by macrophages upon their activation, and binds to macrophage mannose receptor, followed by reincorporation of the protein back to the cells. US Patent has been filed for this technology.
Applications • Diagnosis and treatment of lupus
Advantages • Targeting molecular mechanisms of diseaserather than management of symptoms