Vector-based products for studying gene function.

Open Biosystems began as an entrepreneurial start-up in the Hudson Alpha Institute of Biotechnology offering access to cDNA, ORF and shRNA products through academic partnerships. The Open Biosystems legacy includes vector-based gene modulation reagents that can provide powerful tools to study essential gene function. Choose from a variety of technologies and products functional genomics such as transient, long-term, inducible, and in vivo RNA interference as well as gene over-expression.

  • achieve reversible RNAi in difficult to transfect cells
  • perform specific gene knockdown with microRNA-adapted shRNA
  • generate regulatable knockdown cell lines
  • overexpress a gene in the context of native regulation
shRNA Products
GIPZ Lentiviral shRNA
  • Efficient gene silencing with a microRNA-adapted shRNA design. Available as lentiviral vector constructs or high-titer lentiviral particles for human and mouse.
TRIPZ Inducible Lentiviral shRNA
  • Inducible shRNA expression allows for tightly regulatable RNAi experiments. Available as lentiviral vector constructs for human.
TRC Lentiviral shRNA
  • Lentiviral shRNA collection from The RNAi Consortium (TRC). Offers a classic hairpin, rules-based shRNA design with coverage in human and mouse.
Mammalian cDNA/ORF Collections

Derived from mRNA and including 5' and 3' UTRs, our cDNA collections are ideal for overexpressing a gene in the context of native regulation, while our open reading frames (ORFs) have both 5' and 3' UTRs removed and provide a shortcut to protein expression.

Non-Mammalian cDNA/ORF Collections

Your complete source for cDNAs, ORFs, knockout strains, promoter collections and other resources for yeast, C. elegans, Zebrafish, Xenopus, and E. coli.


Open Biosystems began as an entrepreneurial start-up in the Hudson Alpha Institute of Biotechnology offering access to cDNA, ORF and shRNA products through academic partnerships. In 2004, the company made available ground-breaking short hairpin RNA (shRNA) libraries developed by Gregory Hannon (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories) and Steve Elledge (Harvard University) targeting the human and mouse genomes. Published in Nature Genetics in 2005, the Hannon-Elledge libraries were the first genome-scale arrayed shRNA resources modeled after primary microRNA transcripts to be created. Additionally, Open Biosystems entered into an agreement with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2005 to serve as a partner of The RNAi Consortium (TRC) and distribute the TRC genome-wide shRNA libraries.

In 2007, Open Biosystems announced the first of several releases of ORFeome Collaboration Clones, sequence-verified human open reading frames (ORFs) drawn from a variety of sources, including principally the Dana Farber Cancer Institute-Center for Cancer Systems Biology. Other contributors to this worldwide collaboration included the Mammalian Gene Collection (MGC) and the IMAGE Consortium.

All of these collections are available as part of the Dharmacon portfolio.

Suggested Reading
  1. R. A. Dickens, M. T. Hemann Probing tumor phenotypes using stable and regulated synthetic microRNA precursors. Nature Genetics 37, 1289 (2005).
  2. J. M. Silva, M. Z. Li Second-generation shRNA libraries covering the mouse and human genomes. Nature Genetics 37, 1281 (2005).
  3. K. Chang, S. J. Elledge Lessons from Nature: microRNA-based shRNA libraries. Nature Methods 2, 707 (2006).
  4. S. Gobeil, X. Zhu A genome-wide shRNA screen identifies GAS1 as a novel melanoma metastasis suppressor gene. Genes & Dev. 22, 2932 (2008).
  5. M. R. Schlabach, J.Luo Cancer Proliferation Gene Discovery Through Functional Genomics. Science 319, 620 (2008).
  6. J. M. Silva, K. Marran Profiling Essential Genes in Human Mammary Cells by Multiplex RNAi Screening. Science 319, 617 (2008).