Sensitive and Accurate PCR Detection of dsRNA Response: Novel Biomarkers for Autoimmune and Infectious Diseases

Web Published:

Princeton Docket # 16-3253-1


Researchers in the Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University have identified an innovative qPCR-based method for accurate and specific detection of immune marker RNAs generated by the action of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) and RNase L. These markers provide one-of-a kind diagnostic tools for the dsRNA response and novel biomarkers for autoimmune, inflammatory and infectious diseases.

RNase L is an immune kinase with an RNase domain, which cleaves intracellular RNAs in response to dsRNA. The presence of dsRNA is a mark of inflammation, DNA damage or infections, which is linked to various diseases. All practical uses of RNase L activity readout as a biomarker is limited due to the absence of sensitive and specific assays to detect RNase L activation in cell or tissue samples and in very small quantities of clinical samples. The present invention describes a PCR-based method that enables accurate, specific and sensitive detection of RNase L activity in small quantities of common biological samples, such as blood, saliva and other biological fluids or solid samples. The invention is based on a new composition of matter and the unique discovery of novel RNA molecules released by RNase L in human cells. Detection of these molecules is done by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and is ready for reduction to practice.



•       New biomarker for monitoring  immune system

•       Can also be applied for diagnosis of neoplastic diseases

•       Clinical monitoring of therapy success

•       Research kit for detection of RNase L products



•       Accurate and specific detection

•       Requires small quantities of clinical sample characteristic of PCR

•       Highest possible sensitivity

•       Uses precise reagents and protocols



Alexei Korennykh, PhD is an Associate Professor of Molecular Biology. The central theme of his research is to understand mechanisms of RNA-dependent signal transduction in the human immune system and during stress responses associated with human diseases. They use X-ray crystallography, biochemistry, biophysics and cell biology to understand structures, functions and regulation of the key human proteins, RNA, intracellular messengers, and their complexes.

Jesse Donovan, PhD is a postdoctoral fellow in Korennykh laboratory. Jesse has expertise in RNA biology, high-throughput sequencing, cell biology and structural biology.


Intellectual Property & Development status

Patent protection is pending.

Princeton is currently seeking commercial partners for the further development and commercialization of this opportunity.



Laurie Tzodikov

Princeton University Office of Technology Licensing • (609) 258-7256•


Sangeeta Bafna

Princeton University Office of Technology Licensing • (609) 258-5579•


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Prabhpreet Gill
Licensing Associate
Princeton University
Alexei Korennykh
Jesse Donovan