Large-scale information on the biochemical makeup of small interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules is now available for free to all researchers as the result of a collaboration between the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and Life Technologies.
Until now, a major limitation in the scientific community's use of RNAi data has been the lack of a publicly available dataset, along with siRNA sequences directed against every human gene. Historically, providers have not allowed publishing of proprietary siRNA sequence information. To address this problem, NCATS and Life Technologies are providing all researchers with access to siRNA data from Life Technologies' Silencer Select siRNA library, which includes 65,000 siRNA sequences targeting more than 20,000 human genes. Simultaneously, NCATS is releasing complementary data on the effects of each siRNA molecule on biological functions. All of this information is available to the public free-of-charge through NIH's public database PubChem.
"Producing and releasing these data demonstrate NCATS' commitment to speeding the translational process for all diseases," said NCATS Director Christopher P. Austin, M.D. "The Human Genome Project showed that public data release is critical to scientific progress. Similarly, I believe that making RNAi data publicly available will revolutionize the study of biology and medicine."
Experts from the NIH RNAi initiative, administered by NCATS' Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation, conduct screens for NIH investigators. They will add new RNAi data into PubChem on an ongoing basis, making the database a growing resource for gene function studies.
"By releasing all our siRNA sequences, we are enabling novel strategies to advance fundamental understanding of biology and discovery of new potential drug targets," said Mark Stevenson, president and COO of Life Technologies.
NIH invites other companies that sell siRNA libraries and researchers who conduct genome-wide RNAi screens with the Life Technologies library to deposit sequence data and biological activity information into PubChem.