Agilent Technologies Inc. has announced an agreement to provide the Hannon laboratory at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) with oligonucleotide libraries to further develop the widely used small hairpin RNA interference (shRNA) libraries.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators Gregory Hannon, Ph.D., at CSHL, and Stephen Elledge, Ph.D., the Gregor Mendel professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, pioneered the generation of plasmid-based shRNA libraries.
These libraries contain constructs against all identified genes in the human and mouse genomes with the unique ability to silence targeted genes very specifically and effectively over long time periods. The earlier collaborative work was published in Nature Methods 1, 241-248 (2004) and Nature Genetics 37, 1281-1288 (2005).
“Agilent has significantly improved its programmable in-situ oligonucleotide synthesis technology since the original publication, and we’ve developed the capability to synthesize as many as 55,000 oligonucleotides per library, and also make them as long as 200 bases,” said Emily LeProust, Ph.D., R&D chemistry manager, Genomics for Agilent.
“This means that we can provide Dr. Hannon with high quality starting material in a massively parallel fashion and at a cost significantly lower than current oligonucleotide synthesis technology,” said LeProust.
“The 100 base-pair barrier has been broken, and researchers no longer need to combine individually synthesized oligos from microplates into a single tube,” she added.
Agilent says that it is producing at a very low error rate (one out of 250 bases or better), and is delivering quantities from 0.2 fmol to tens of fmols per oligo. The flexible synthesis platform permits rapid prototyping of an oligo mixture prior to scale-up for larger studies. The ability to synthesize long oligos of high quality enables novel approaches to the study of biological problems and systems. Agilent oligo libraries are available to selected users under an early access program.