Synaptic Research LLC is a biotechnology company working to develop practical
applications of the ubiquitin system in living cells, initially for the treatment of
Ubiquitin is a small protein that appeared very early in the evolution of life on earth.
It is highly conserved, and is still present (ubiquitous) in all higher level, or
eukaryotic, organisms. Ubiquitin performs several extremely important cellular
functions, including the destruction of certain proteins as well as intracellular
Ubiquitin is the subject of intense research in a number of biomolecular fields
because researchers believe that control of ubiquitin could allow treatment of
diseases by selectively destroying disease-causing proteins.
Synaptic Research is working to develop a “designer ubiquitin ligase” engineered
to attach ubiquitin to a target protein of choice. The first goal of the company is to
target the Botulinum Neurotoxin (BoNT), which causes botulism. By using the
ubiquitin system, we expect to selectively degrade the BoNT protein, thus
providing a post-exposure treatment for botulism. This will have immediate value
both commercially and in homeland security and defense applications in the event
that botulism were ever used as a weapon.
George A. Oyler, MD PhD, is the company’s president and is a recognized expert
in the fields of cell biology and toxin research. He has been affiliated with several
highly-respected institutions including Johns Hopkins University and the University
of Maryland, has published nearly 30 peer-reviewed papers, and has several