How to use siRNA, shRNA, microRNA and CRISPR libraries

What can screening do for me?

Functional genomic screening uses libraries of reagents that can interrogate tens, hundreds or thousands of genes to determine which are the most important to the biology under study. Screening can reveal the genes that are critical to cancer biology pathways, find drug targets and many other important biological applications. 

What kind of biological reagents can be used for screening?

The reagents fall into two categories:

  • loss-of-function
    • siRNA
    • shRNA
    • microRNA inhibitors
    • CRISPR-Cas9 guide RNA (crRNA, sgRNA)
  • gain of function
    • microRNA Mimics
    • cDNAs / ORFs

All of these can be had in library formats that include collections of genes involved in cellular pathways, gene families and even whole genome scale to individually test every possible gene. Also, custom libraries can be created according to a customer’s own gene list.

Is screening difficult?

There are many different types of screening strategies. The choice of the best approach depends on the particular biological question, the phenotypic readout, and the infrastructural resources that are available to the investigator.

To explain some of the important aspects of setting up a screening experimental plan, we have prepared a Screening Applications Page to explain key consideration for developing and executing a screening strategy. In it, you will learn:

  • considerations for functional genomics studies by high-throughput library screening
  • types and formats of screening libraries
    • plasmid libraries
    • lentiviral libraries
    • pooled lentiviral libraries
  • high-throughput functional genomics screening workflow - general considerations
  • collecting phenotypic screening data
  • assay development and validation
  • siRNA screening
  • pooled lentiviral shRNA library screening
  • hit stratification
  • confirmation of results
  • tips for successful screening
Learn more about screening now! »

Additional Resources

Dharmacon RNAi Application Guide
High-Content Analysis and siRNA Libraries - Application Note
Human siRNA Libraries
  • Find the predefined gene family, including Druggable genes or Whole Genome, that’s right for your discovery efforts.
Mouse siRNA Libraries
  • A wide selection of predefined siRNA libraries, including the most up-to-date Whole Mouse genome collection available.
Pooled Lentiviral Screening Libraries
  • Investigate thousands of genes with a single transduction event with powerful multiplexed screening tools.
Lincode siRNA Libraries
  • Paired collections of human siGENOME and ON-TARGETplus siRNA SMARTpool reagents, providing knockdown by the two most reliable siRNA reagents available.
miRIDIAN microRNA Libraries
  • xMimic and Hairpin Inhibitor libraries are available for human, mouse, and rat microRNAs. Provided in 96-well plates for high-throughput phenotypic screening.
GIPZ Lentiviral shRNA Libraries
  • Perform genome-scale shRNA screening experiments with GIPZ Lentiviral shRNA libraries. Choose a pre-defined gene family library for smaller screening projects.
Cherry-pick Libraries
  • Fast and easy online configuration and ordering of plated siRNA & microRNA reagents targeting your genes of interest.