Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Fusion peptides from oncogenic chimeric proteins as specific biomarkers of cancer

Technology #5840

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Kojo Elenitoba-Johnson
Managed By
Ed Pagani
Associate Director, Health Technologies 734-763-3558
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending
Fusion peptides from oncogenic chimeric proteins as putative specific biomarkers of cancer.
Mol Cell Proteomics, Volume 12. Page 2714. 2013

Researchers at University of Michigan developed a method to diagnose cancer subtypes involving chromosomal translocation. Chromosomal translocations encoding chimeric fusion proteins constitute one of the most common mechanisms underlying oncogenic transformation in human cancer. Current approaches to identify chromosomal translocation include fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). However, these two approaches both have relatively high false positive rate and do not detect chimeric protein, the end product of chromosomal translocation. This invention offers an approach to directly detect the fusion peptides from chimeric proteins as specific biomarkers for cancer diagnosis.

Novel mass spectrometry method targeting fusion peptides specifically detects chimeric proteins

Researchers at University of Michigan utilize multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mass spectrometry (MS) to directly identify different cancer-specific fusion peptides arising from protein chimeras that are generated from juxtaposition of heterologous genes fused by recurrent chromosomal translocations. The method has been tested using clinical samples and exhibited comparable sensitivity to western blot analysis but not limited by antibody availability. The application of this new method will improve the cancer diagnosis and provide guidance on personalized medicine for cancer patients.


  • Directly detect specific chimeric proteins to guide cancer diagnosis and personalized treatments
  • Minimal residual disease monitoring


  • Decrease false positive rate by eliminating amplification steps
  • Not limited by the availability of antibodies
  • High sensitivity and exquisite specificity