Human Melanoma Metastasis Cell Lines Harboring GRM3 Mutations

Using exon capture and next generation sequencing approaches to analyze the entire G protein coupled receptor (GPCR) gene family in melanoma, the researchers at the NIH have identified several novel somatic (e.g., tumor-specific) alterations. GPCRs play an integral part in regulating physiological functions and the importance of these molecules is evident by the fact that approximately half of the current FDA approved therapeutics target GPCRs or their direct downstream signaling components. Many of the GPCR gene mutations identified by the NIH researchers were mutated in a large portion of melanoma patients and already have inhibitors, the most notable being the Glutamate Receptor Metabotropic 3 (GRM3) mutation which could be functionally signification for melanoma tumorigenesis.

Available for licensing are several melanoma cell lines that harbor GRM3 mutations. These cell lines provide useful and efficient tools for studying melanoma and can be used in the development of specific inhibitors of GRM3 as well as the pathway it activates, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MEK), for the treatment of melanoma patients with these mutations.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Diagnostic array for the detection of GRM3 mutations.
  • Method of identifying GRM3 inhibitors as therapeutic agents to treat malignant melanoma patients.
  • In vitro and in vivo cell model for the GRM3 mutation in melanoma. This is a useful tool for investigating GRM3 phenotype biology, including growth, motility, invasion, and metabolite production.
  • Tool for testing the activity of GRM3 inhibitors and generating GRM3 mutation knock-outs.
  • Cell lines are derived from melanoma patients.
  • GRM3 mutations are highly frequent and/or highly mutated in melanomas.
  • Several inhibitors to GPCR and MEK are already in clinical trials, thus this technology may prove useful for the development of novel diagnostic tests and therapeutics.

Development Stage:

Related Invention(s):


Yardena Samuels (NHGRI)  ➽ more inventions...

Steven Rosenberg (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
Research Tool — Patent protection is not being pursued for the GRM3 melanoma metastatic cell lines.

Prickett TD, et al. PMID 21946352

Collaboration Opportunity:

The NHGRI is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize this technology. For collaboration opportunities, please contact Claire Driscoll, Director, NHGRI Technology Transfer Office, at or 301-594-2235.

Licensing Contact:
Eggerton Campbell, Ph.D.
Phone: 301-402-1648

OTT Reference No: E-029-2012-0
Updated: May 8, 2018