The Whitehead siRNA (short interfering RNA) Selection Web Server (http://jura.wi.mit.edu/bioc/siRNA) automates the design of short oligonucleotides that can specifically 'knock down' expression of target genes. These short sequences are about 21 nt in length, and when synthesized as double stranded RNA and introduced into cell culture, can reduce or eliminate the function of the target gene. Depending on the length of a gene, there are potentially numerous combinations of possible 21mers.
RNA interference (RNAi) is a powerful tool for inhibiting the expression of a gene by mediating the degradation of the corresponding mRNA. The basis of this gene-specific inhibition is small, double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs), also referred to as small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), that correspond in sequence to a part of the exon sequence of a silenced gene. The selection of siRNAs for a target gene is a crucial step in siRNA-mediated gene silencing.
Recent developments in high-throughput sequencing technologies have generated considerable demand for tools to analyse large datasets of small RNA sequences. Here, we describe a suite of web-based tools for processing plant small RNA datasets. Our tools can be used to identify micro RNAs and their targets, compare expression levels in sRNA loci, and find putative trans-acting siRNA loci.
The tools are freely available for use at http://srna-tools.cmp.uea.ac.uk.
Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) have become a standard tool in functional genomics. Once incorporated into the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC), siRNAs mediate the specific recognition of corresponding target mRNAs and their cleavage. However, only a small fraction of randomly chosen siRNA sequences is able to induce efficient gene silencing.
Highly accurate knockdown functional analyses based on RNA interference (RNAi) require the possible most complete hydrolysis of the targeted mRNA while avoiding the degradation of untargeted genes (off-target effects). This in turn requires significant improvements to target selection for two reasons. First, the average silencing activity of randomly selected siRNAs is as low as 62%. Second, applying more than five different siRNAs may lead to saturation of the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) and to the degradation of untargeted genes.
The use of exogenous small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) for gene silencing has quickly become a widespread molecular tool providing a powerful means for gene functional study and new drug target identification. Although considerable progress has been made recently in understanding how the RNAi pathway mediates gene silencing, the design of potent siRNAs remains challenging.
With few exceptions, current methods for short read mapping make use of simple seed heuristics to speed up the search. Most of the underlying matching models neglect the necessity to allow not only mismatches, but also insertions and deletions. Current evaluations indicate, however, that very different error models apply to the novel high-throughput sequencing methods. While the most frequent error-type in Illumina reads are mismatches, reads produced by 454's GS FLX predominantly contain insertions and deletions (indels).
To facilitate the designing process for vector-based siRNA and siRNA cassette, a tool set has been developed consisting of a siRNA target finder, a siRNA construct builder and a siRNA sequence scrambler. The siRNA target finder is used to identify candidate siRNA target sites. The program automates homology filtering, minimizes non-specific cross-reaction, filters target sites based on RNA duplex internal stability and siRNA sense/anti-sense strand secondary structure.
Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) have become an indispensable tool for the investigation of gene functions. Most existing siRNA design tools were trained on datasets assembled from confined origins, incompatible with the diverse siRNA laboratory practice to which these tools will ultimately be applied. We have performed an updated analysis using the disjunctive rule merging (DRM) approach on a large and diverse dataset compiled from siRecords, and implemented the resulting rule sets in siDRM, a new online siRNA design tool.
RNA interference has revolutionized our ability to study the effects of altering the expression of single genes in mammalian (and other) cells through targeted knockdown of gene expression. In this report we describe a web-based computational tool, siRNA Information Resource (sIR), which consists of a new open source database that contains validation information about published siRNA sequences and also provides a user-friendly interface to design and analyze siRNA sequences against a chosen target sequence.