cDNAs and ORFs

cDNAs and open reading frames (ORFs) can be used to overexpress genes-of-interest. We offer mammalian cDNA and ORF collections which are derived from mRNA including 5' and 3' UTRs.

The cDNA collections are ideal for overexpressing a gene in the context of native regulation, while ORFs have both 5' and 3' UTRs removed providing a shortcut to protein expression. Additionally, we provide cDNA and ORF collections for Yeast, C. elegans, Zebrafish, Xenopus, and E. coli. Choose from individual clones, lentiviral ORFs, and genome-scale libraries.

These cDNA and ORF collections provide a quick and accessible method for obtaining gene content for many in vitro and cell culture overexpression applications. The coding sequence is cloned into an expression vector under control of a strong promoter and then delivered to cells of interest by plasmid transfection or lentiviral transduction.

Applications where cDNAs and ORFs are commonly utilized are gene overexpression studies, RNAi rescue experiments, structural analysis, visualization of protein localization, biochemical purification, and identification of interacting proteins through Co-immunoprecipitation.

Additionally, CRISPR Activation (CRISPRa) is a new overexpression tool that can be used as an alternative to cDNA and ORFs in several applications (See the table below). CRISPRa uses a deactivated version of S.pyogenes Cas9 often tethered to transcriptional activators (i.e. dCas9-VPR) and CRISPRa guide RNA (designed to target near a gene’s transcription start site (TSS)) to then upregulate the transcription of desired genes endogenously. For more information about CRISPRa technology see our applications page.

See the table below to determine which overexpression tool is best for your research.

*Cells of interest must already contain the tagged gene
** cDNA /ORF need to be cloned in vectors with different selection marker
What are you trying to accomplish? cDNA/ORF CRISPRa
Express a tagged version of your gene in cells of interest Yes Maybe*
Want closest to natural post-transcriptional processing No Yes
Only want one isoform/variant expressed Yes No
Express a very long or difficult-to-clone gene No Yes
Need to express a non-protein coding gene (lncRNA, etc) No Yes
In vitro expression (protein purification, etc) Yes No
Rescue siRNA or shRNA knockdown Yes No
High-throughput overexpression screening No Yes
Human gene studies in animal models Yes No
Activate multiple genes in the same cell Maybe** Yes

Mammalian cDNAs

Derived from mRNA and including 5’ and 3’ UTRs, our cDNA collections are ideal for overexpressing a gene in the context of native regulation.

Mammalian ORFs

With both 5’ and 3’ UTRs removed, open reading frames (ORFs) provide a shortcut to protein expression.

  • Precision LentiORFs

    Precision LentiORFs are expression-ready open reading frames (ORFs) that have been cloned into a lentiviral expression vector with a GFP reporter.

  • ORFeome Collaboration Collection

    ORFeome Collaboration (OC) clones are fully-sequenced ORFs in Gateway recombinational entry vectors. OC clones are available with and without stop codons.

  • CCSB Human ORFeome

    This Gateway adapted human ORF collection is ideal for easily moving thousands of open reading frames into your choice of protein expression systems.

  • Human ORFeome V8.1 Library

    This fully-sequenced collection of Gateway-adapted ORFs represents the latest version of the CCSB Human ORFeome library from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

  • CCSB-Broad Lentiviral Expression Library

    A genome-scale library of human ORFS in a lentiviral vector, stop codons have been removed and clones contain a C-terminal V5 tag.

Non-Mammalian cDNAs and ORFs

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

  • Yeast

    Browse our list of yeast resources including Yeast Knockout strains, Tagged-ORF strains, Genomic DNA, cDNA libraries, and additional collections.

  • C. elegans

    C. elegans ORFs, RNAi feeding collections, promoter and transcription factor collections.

  • E. coli

    Includes the E. coli Keio knockout collection, Promoter-GFP fusions for monitoring gene expression, and tagged ORFs for studying protein-protein interactions.

  • Zebrafish

    Full-length, fully-sequenced Zebrafish ZGC and IMAGE clones, as well as Exelixis and NEIBank cDNAs and the Zebrafish IMCB Collection.

  • Xenopus

    Full-length, fully-sequenced Xenopus ORFeome, XGC, and IMAGE cDNA and EST clones.

cDNA and ORF Libraries

Pre-defined gene family collections are available for many of our cDNA and ORF products. Choose from whole genome, gene families, or custom libraries.

  • CCSB Human ORFeome Libraries

    The Gateway adapted human Entry ORF libraries are ideal for easily moving entire families of ORFs into your choice of protein expression systems.

  • Precision LentiORFs

    Precision LentiORFs are expression-ready open reading frames (ORFs) that have been cloned into a lentiviral expression vector with a GFP reporter.

  • ORFeome Collaboration Libraries

    ORFeome Collaboration clones are sequence-verified, human open reading frames (ORFs) subcloned into Gateway recombinational entry vectors.

  • Mammalian Gene Collection Libraries

    The mouse and human MGC libraries contain popular gene families in expression-ready and other vector backbones.

  • CCSB-Broad Lentiviral Expression Library

    A genome-scale library of human ORFS in a lentiviral vector, stop codons have been removed and clones contain a C-terminal V5 tag.

  • Human ORFeome V8.1 Library

    This fully-sequenced collection of Gateway-adapted ORFs represents the latest version of the CCSB Human ORFeome library from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.