Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Communities
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

NIH, Life Tech Collaboration Makes Gene-Silencing Data Publicly Available

Published: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Bookmark and Share
NIH data-sharing collaboration with Life Technologies will advance genetic and translational research, therapeutic target discovery.

For the first time, large-scale information on the biochemical makeup of small interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules is available publicly. These molecules are used in research to help scientists better understand how genes function in disease. Making this information accessible to researchers worldwide increases the potential of finding new treatments for patients. 

NIH's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) collaborated with Life Technologies Corporation of Carlsbad, Calif., which owns the siRNA information, to make it available to all researchers.

The siRNA molecules, which can selectively turn off genes, are used in RNA interference (RNAi) research. RNAi is a natural process that cells use to control the activity of specific genes. Its discovery led to the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. 

Last month, a team of NIH scientists, led by Dr. Richard Youle, Ph.D., at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and Scott Martin, Ph.D., at NCATS, used RNAi to find genes that linked to Parkinson's disease, a devastating movement disorder. The new genes may represent new starting points for developing treatments. The study results were published online in the Nov. 24, 2013, issue of Nature.

Scientists have harnessed the power of RNAi to study the function of many individual genes by reducing their activity levels, or silencing them. This process enables researchers to identify genes and molecules that are linked to particular diseases. To do this, researchers use siRNAs, which are RNA molecules that have a complementary chemical makeup, or sequence, to that of a targeted gene. While the gene is silenced, researchers look for changes in cell functions to gain insights about what it normally does. By silencing genes in the cell one at a time, scientists can explore and understand their complex relation to other genes in the context of disease. 

Until now, a major limitation in the scientific community's use of RNAi data has been the lack of a publicly available dataset, along with siRNA sequences directed against every human gene. Historically, providers have not allowed publishing of proprietary siRNA sequence information. To address this problem, NCATS and Life Technologies are providing all researchers with access to siRNA data from Life Technologies' Silencer Select siRNA library, which includes 65,000 siRNA sequences targeting more than 20,000 human genes. Simultaneously, NCATS is releasing complementary data on the effects of each siRNA molecule on biological functions. All of this information is available to the public free-of-charge through NIH's public database PubChem

"Producing and releasing these data demonstrate NCATS' commitment to speeding the translational process for all diseases," said NCATS Director Christopher P. Austin, M.D. "The Human Genome Project showed that public data release is critical to scientific progress. Similarly, I believe that making RNAi data publicly available will revolutionize the study of biology and medicine." 

Experts from the NIH RNAi initiative, administered by NCATS' Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation, conduct screens for NIH investigators. They will add new RNAi data into PubChem on an ongoing basis, making the database a growing resource for gene function studies. 

"By releasing all our siRNA sequences, we are enabling novel strategies to advance fundamental understanding of biology and discovery of new potential drug targets," said Mark Stevenson, president and chief operating officer of Life Technologies. 

NIH invites other companies that sell siRNA libraries and researchers who conduct genome-wide RNAi screens with the Life Technologies library to deposit sequence data and biological activity information into PubChem. For assistance with submitting data to PubChem, researchers may contact

"Translation of siRNA library screening results into impactful downstream experiments is the ultimate goal of scientists using our library," said Alan Sachs, M.D., Ph.D., head of global research and development for Life Technologies. "The availability of these sequence data should greatly facilitate this effort because scientists no longer will be blinded to the actual sequence they are targeting." 

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Lucentis Effective for Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy
NIH-funded clinical trial marks first major advance in therapy in 40 years.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Batten Disease may Benefit from Gene Therapy
NIH-funded animal study suggests one-shot approach to injecting genes.
Friday, November 13, 2015
Molecule Proves Key to Brain Repair After Stroke
Scientists found that a molecule known as growth and differentiation factor 10 (GDF10) plays a key role in repair mechanisms following stroke.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
NIH Researchers Link Single Gene Variation to Obesity
Variation in the BDNF gene may affect brain’s regulation of appetite, study suggests.
Saturday, October 31, 2015
Researchers Identify Potential Alternative to CRISPR-Cas Genome Editing Tools
New Cas enzymes shed light on evolution of CRISPR-Cas systems.
Saturday, October 31, 2015
Potential Alternative to CRISPR-Cas Genome Editing Tools
New Cas enzymes shed light on evolution of CRISPR-Cas systems.
Friday, October 23, 2015
Charting Genetic Variation Across the Globe
An international team of scientists has created the world’s largest catalog of human genetic differences in populations around the globe.
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Gene Therapy Staves Off Blindness from Retinitis Pigmentosa in Canine Model
NIH-funded study suggests therapeutic window may extend to later-stage disease.
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Nuclear Transport Problems Linked to ALS and FTD
NIH-supported studies point to potential new target for treating neurodegenerative diseases.
Monday, October 19, 2015
Scientists Develop Genetic Blueprint of Inner Ear Cell Development
Two studies in mice use new technique to provide insight into cell development critical for hearing, balance.
Saturday, October 17, 2015
$21M Invested in Research Hubs in Developing Countries
The National Institutes of Health and other U.S. and Canadian partners are investing $20.9 million dollars over five years to establish seven regional research and training centers in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
Friday, October 09, 2015
NIH Breast Cancer Research to Focus On Prevention
A new phase of the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP), focused on prevention, is being launched at the National Institutes of Health.
Friday, October 09, 2015
NIH Grantees Win 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
The 2015 Nobel Prize in chemistry has been awarded to NIH grantees Paul Modrich, Ph.D., of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C.; and Aziz Sancar, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C.,.
Thursday, October 08, 2015
NIH Announces High-Risk, High-Reward Research Awardees
NIH to fund 78 awards to support highly innovative biomedical research.
Wednesday, October 07, 2015
New Gene Therapy for Vision Loss From a Mitochondrial Disease
NIH-funded study shows success in targeting mitochondrial DNA in mice.
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
Scientific News
High Throughput Mass Spectrometry-Based Screening Assay Trends
Dr John Comley provides an insight into HT MS-based screening with a focus on future user requirements and preferences.
The MaxSignal Colistin ELISA Test Kit from Bioo Scientific
Kit can help prevent the antibiotic apocalypse by keeping last resort drugs out of the food supply.
Kitchen Utensils Can Spread Bacteria Between Foods
In a recent study researchers found that produce that contained bacteria would contaminate other produce items through the continued use of knives or graters—the bacteria would latch on to the utensils commonly found in consumers' homes and spread to the next item.
Exploring the Causes of Cancer
Queen's research to understand the regulation of a cell surface protein involved in cancer.
Safer, Faster Way To Remove Pollutants From Water
Using nanoparticles filled with enzymes proves more effective than current methods.
Drug May Prevent Life-Threatening Muscle Loss in Advanced Cancers
New data describes how an experimental drug can stop life-threatening muscle wasting (cachexia) associated with advanced cancers and restore muscle health.
Ancient Viral Molecules Essential for Human Development
Genetic material from ancient viral infections is critical to human development, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Novel Tumor Treatment
In the first published results from a $386,000 National Cancer Institute grant awarded earlier this year, a paper by Scott Verbridge and Rafael Davalos has been published.
Speeding Up the Process of Making Vaccines
System uses a freeze-dry concept to develop "just-add-water" solution.
Chemical Design Made Easier
Rice University scientists prepare elusive organocatalysts for drug and fine chemical synthesis.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos