Another technology transfer success: NTP-Transporter Technology from Tomáš Kraus et al. on the market now

Labeling of nucleic acids, DNA in particular, with modified nucleotides is one of the essential methods in their investigation and in the cell cycle analysis.

Until now, this was performed by incubation of cells with commercially available BrdU or EdU, followed by post-labeling with fluorescent antibodies or fluorophore-azide conjugates. Direct incorporation of fluorescent nucleoside triphosphate (NTP) to DNA in cellulo, which would simplify the procedure and allow live cell imaging, has not been possible.

However, Tomáš Kraus, Zbigniew Zawada and their colleagues from IOCB Prague have developed compounds that are able to transport various fluorescently labeled NTPs across cell membranes in less than 3 minutes, allowing to stain nucleic acids in live cells and with a wide range of fluorophores.

The technology presented in this paper was licensed to Merck Millipore under the direction of IOCB Prague’s technology transfer and subsidiary company IOCB Tech. Now, it successfully found its way to the market as the BioTracker NTP-Transporter molecule (SCT064) which allows the selective and rapid incorporation of fluorescently labeled dUTP’s into DNA during the S-phase of the cell cycle to measure cell proliferation in living cells similarly – yet much more easily – to BrdU-based cell proliferation assays.

This technology from IOCB Prague labs will allow new insights into for example cancer cell proliferation and progression.