RNA interference (RNAi) is a mechanism for interfering with gene expression through the action of small, non-coding RNAs. We previously constructed a short-hairpin-loop RNA (shRNA) encoding library that is random at the nucleotide level . In this library, the stems of the hairpin are completely complementary. To improve the potency of initial hits, and therefore signal-to-noise ratios in library screening, as well as to simplify hit-sequence retrieval by PCR, we constructed a second-generation library in which we introduced random mismatches between the two halves of the stem of each hairpin, on a random template background. In a screen for shRNAs that protect an interleukin-3 (IL3) dependent cell line from IL3 withdrawal, our second-generation library yielded hit sequences with significantly higher potencies than those from the first-generation library in the same screen. Our method of random mutagenesis was effective for a random template and is likely suitable, therefore, for any DNA template of interest. The improved potency of our second-generation library expands the range of possible unbiased screens for small-RNA therapeutics and biologic tools. © 2014 Wang et al.
Wang, Y., Speier, J. S., Engram-Pearl, J., & Wilson, R. B. (2014). Introduction of mismatches in a random shRNA-encoding library improves potency for phenotypic selection. PLoS ONE, 9(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0087390