Human RNAi library offered as tool to companies
developed what they claim is the first full library of human RNA
interference (RNAi) clones, enabling researchers to shut down
virtually any gene of interest in the human genome.
The CSHL notes that several leading pharmaceutical companies have already entered into agreements to take advantage of the potential for therapeutic discovery that this library promises to deliver. Licensing non-exclusive rights allows these companies to use the RNAi library for target identification and validation purposes.
The library is based on a versatile and powerful method for triggering RNAi - short hairpin RNA (shRNA) - and is believed to be the first DNA vector-based, human genome-wide RNAi library that is sequence verified.
Dr Greg Hannon, lead scientist in the development of the new library, noted that by individually targeting more than 10,000 human genes through this sequence-based method, researchers can rapidly identify and validate target genes that cause disease, and develop drugs to hit those targets.
A variety of methods exist for triggering RNAi. However, the short-hairpin (shRNA) method developed by Hannon and his colleagues is claimed to be one of the most efficient. It has been validated in a large number of studies with different animal and human cell cultures as well as in whole animals, where the method has been shown by Hannon's group to trigger stable, heritable gene silencing.
In addition, the sequence-validated library of shRNA molecules targets each one of more than 10,000 different human genes in triplicate, i.e. with three different gene-specific interfering RNAs.