Partnering opportunity

Novel molecular sensor.


A German university has developed a molecular sensor that detects cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) molecules with a higher sensitivity and a faster response than currently available sensors. The sensor is a research tool for companies active in pharmacology. The university offers a license agreement.

Partner sought

The university offers a license agreement to companies active in pharmacology. A licensee has the option to sell the invention directly to his clients. Another partner could be one that designs and sells molecular screening systems and could use this invention to extend their portfolio.


Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP, cyclic AMP) is a second messenger important in many biological processes. Cyclic AMP is a key molecule in 2nd messenger cell signaling. Great effort has been taken to develop sensors that allow for noninvasive assessment of cAMP concentrations in living cells. Genetically encoded biosensors hold great promise to allow spatial and temporal measurements of cAMP concentrations in living cells. Yet, the sensors available up to now are hampered by the low affinity of the cAMP binding moieties employed. A German university has now found a new biosensor that shows a higher sensitivity and a faster response in order to detect cAMP molecules. The inventors of the new sensor identified the cAMP nucleotide-binding domain of the bacterial MlotiK1 channel as superior cAMP sensing moiety for a FRET-based cAMP sensor. Sandwiched between a blue and a yellow fluorescent protein, this motif exhibits a nanomolar affinity and allows for real-time measurement of intracellular cAMP concentration. The inventors were able to monitor the cAMP dynamics in different cell types, e.g. HEK293 cells, but also in flagella of sperm, thereby revealing the spatio-temporal distribution of cAMP controlling flagellar movement. This work (please see picture below) proves the applicability of the presented cAMP sensor for the investigation of cAMP-related biological questions. The university offers a license agreement to companies active in pharmacology.

Advantages and innovations

The overall advantage and innovation of this biosensor that it is characterised by higher sensitivity and faster response than sensors presently available. Other advantages on a more specific level are: • Nanomolar affinity • Fast binding/unbinding kinetics • Expressed and purified in high amounts from prokaryotic cells • Well expressed in eukaryotic cells. • Measurement of cAMP levels in solution in vitro, in cellulo, and in vivo • No interaction with molecular pathways of eukaryotic cells • Amenable to subcellular targeting

Development stage

Already on the market

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted,Patents granted

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