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RNA Interference Technology Used To Identify ‘Lethal’ And ‘Rescuer’ Genes In Innovative Screening Method

Lethal and rescuer genes are defined as genes that when inactivated result in or enhanced cell growth, respectively. The ability to identify these genes in large-scale automated screening campaigns could lead to the discovery of valuable new drug targets. A genome-wide lethality screen that relies on technology and led to the validation of 239 gene candidates essential for cell survival is described in , a peer-reviewed journal published from , , publishers. The article is available free on the ASSAY and Drug Development Technologies website.

A team of researchers led by Bhavneet Bhinder and Hakim Djaballah, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, present their work in the article “An Arrayed Genome-Scale Lentiviral-Enabled Short Hairpin RNA Screen Identifies Lethal and Rescuer Gene Candidates.”

The authors developed a high-stringency analysis method used to determine which genes result in cell death when they are “knocked down.” Gene knockdown is achieved via an RNA interference approach, using double-stranded RNA molecules called short hairpin RNAs, or shRNAs. A shRNA binds to a target gene, blocking gene expression. The high-throughput screen is carried out in cells in 384-well microtiter plates.


Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News