Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Gevo obtains US patent no. 8,071,358

A press release from Gevo on Dec. 6, 2011 states:

Gevo was awarded U.S. Patent No. 8,017,358, covering additional "Methods of Increasing Dihydroxy Acid Dehydratase (DHAD) Activity to Improve Production of Fuels, Chemicals, and Amino Acids."

U.S. Patent 8,017,358, named assignee Ibis, is titled Method for rapid detection and identification of bioagents and issued on September 13, 2011.

U.S. Patent 8,071,358, named assignee Gevo, is titled Methods of increasing dihydroxy acid dehydratase activity to improve production of fuels, chemicals, and amino acids and issued on December 6, 2011. The first claim of Gevo's patent states:

A recombinant yeast microorganism comprising a recombinantly overexpressed polynucleotide encoding a dihydroxy acid dehydratase (DHAD), wherein said recombinant yeast microorganism is engineered such that said recombinant yeast microorganism expresses at least one polynucleotide encoding a mutant activator of ferrous transport (Aft) protein which increases the dehydratase activity of DHAD, wherein said mutant Aft protein is constitutively active.

Within the specification:

The term "operon" refers to two or more genes which are transcribed as a single transcriptional unit from a common promoter. In some embodiments, the genes comprising the operon are contiguous genes. It is understood that transcription of an entire operon can be modified (i.e., increased, decreased, or eliminated) by modifying the common promoter. Alternatively, any gene or combination of genes in an operon can be modified to alter the function or activity of the encoded polypeptide. The modification can result in an increase in the activity of the encoded polypeptide. Further, the modification can impart new activities on the encoded polypeptide. Exemplary new activities include the use of alternative substrates and/or the ability to function in alternative environmental conditions.


In addition, a skilled person in the art, equipped with this disclosure, will recognize that the amount of AFT2 overexpressed may vary from one yeast to the next. For example, the optimal level of overexpression may be one, two, three, four or more copies in a given yeast. Moreover, the expression level may be tuned by using a promoter that achieves the optimal expression level in a given yeast.

**Note of US '358:

This invention was made with government support under, Contract No. IIP-0823122, awarded by the National Science Foundation, and under Contract No. EP-D-09-023, awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency. The government has certain rights in the invention.


This application is a divisional of U.S. application Ser. No. 12/953,884, filed Nov. 24, 2010, which claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/263,952, filed Nov. 24, 2009, and U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/350,209, filed Jun. 1, 2010.

Cross-reference: US 8,017,376, issued September 13, 2011 (as was the Ibis patent, above).

**Energy and Biofuels Review repeated the error in patent number:

Gevo has received a patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on another aspect of its yeast technology.

Gevo's yeast technology that enables the low-cost, high-yield production of biobased isobutanol.

Gevo was awarded US Patent No 8,017,358, covering additional Methods of Increasing Dihydroxy Acid Dehydratase Activity to Improve Production of Fuels, Chemicals, and Amino Acids.

Gevo EVP & General Counsel Brett Lund said this invention further details and protects the innovations contained in the Gevo yeast organism to turn an industrial yeast strain into a highly efficient cell factory to produce isobutanol.


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