Genes that when inactivated result in cell death or enhanced cell growth, respectively are defined as lethal and rescuer genes. 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 RNA interference technology and led to the validation of 239 gene candidates essential for cell survival is described in ASSAY and Drug Development Technologies, a peer-reviewed journal published from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the ASSAY and Drug Development Technologies website.
AdvertisementA 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.