UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Specific inhibition of diverse pathogens in human cells by synthetic microRNA-like oligonucleotides inferred from RNAi screens


Franceschini, Andrea; Meier, Roger; Casanova, Alain; Kreibich, Saskia; Daga, Neha; Andritschke, Daniel; Dilling, Sabrina; Rämö, Pauli; Emmenlauer, Mario; Kaufmann, Andreas; Conde-Álvarez, Raquel; Low, Shyan Huey; Pelkmans, Lucas; Helenius, Ari; Hardt, Wolf-Dietrich; Dehio, Christoph; von Mering, Christian (2014). Specific inhibition of diverse pathogens in human cells by synthetic microRNA-like oligonucleotides inferred from RNAi screens. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(12):4548-4553.

Abstract

Systematic genetic perturbation screening in human cells remains technically challenging. Typically, large libraries of chemically synthesized siRNA oligonucleotides are used, each designed to degrade a specific cellular mRNA via the RNA interference (RNAi) mechanism. Here, we report on data from three genome-wide siRNA screens, conducted to uncover host factors required for infection of human cells by two bacterial and one viral pathogen. We find that the majority of phenotypic effects of siRNAs are unrelated to the intended "on-target" mechanism, defined by full complementarity of the 21-nt siRNA sequence to a target mRNA. Instead, phenotypes are largely dictated by "off-target" effects resulting from partial complementarity of siRNAs to multiple mRNAs via the "seed" region (i.e., nucleotides 2-8), reminiscent of the way specificity is determined for endogenous microRNAs. Quantitative analysis enabled the prediction of seeds that strongly and specifically block infection, independent of the intended on-target effect. This prediction was confirmed experimentally by designing oligos that do not have any on-target sequence match at all, yet can strongly reproduce the predicted phenotypes. Our results suggest that published RNAi screens have primarily, and unintentionally, screened the sequence space of microRNA seeds instead of the intended on-target space of protein-coding genes. This helps to explain why previously published RNAi screens have exhibited relatively little overlap. Our analysis suggests a possible way of identifying "seed reagents" for controlling phenotypes of interest and establishes a general strategy for extracting valuable untapped information from past and future RNAi screens.

Abstract

Systematic genetic perturbation screening in human cells remains technically challenging. Typically, large libraries of chemically synthesized siRNA oligonucleotides are used, each designed to degrade a specific cellular mRNA via the RNA interference (RNAi) mechanism. Here, we report on data from three genome-wide siRNA screens, conducted to uncover host factors required for infection of human cells by two bacterial and one viral pathogen. We find that the majority of phenotypic effects of siRNAs are unrelated to the intended "on-target" mechanism, defined by full complementarity of the 21-nt siRNA sequence to a target mRNA. Instead, phenotypes are largely dictated by "off-target" effects resulting from partial complementarity of siRNAs to multiple mRNAs via the "seed" region (i.e., nucleotides 2-8), reminiscent of the way specificity is determined for endogenous microRNAs. Quantitative analysis enabled the prediction of seeds that strongly and specifically block infection, independent of the intended on-target effect. This prediction was confirmed experimentally by designing oligos that do not have any on-target sequence match at all, yet can strongly reproduce the predicted phenotypes. Our results suggest that published RNAi screens have primarily, and unintentionally, screened the sequence space of microRNA seeds instead of the intended on-target space of protein-coding genes. This helps to explain why previously published RNAi screens have exhibited relatively little overlap. Our analysis suggests a possible way of identifying "seed reagents" for controlling phenotypes of interest and establishes a general strategy for extracting valuable untapped information from past and future RNAi screens.

Citations

25 citations in Web of Science®
31 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

33 downloads since deposited on 26 Jun 2014
21 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Molecular Life Sciences
08 University Research Priority Programs > Systems Biology / Functional Genomics
08 University Research Priority Programs > Evolution in Action: From Genomes to Ecosystems
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:26 Jun 2014 09:53
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:56
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
ISSN:0027-8424
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1402353111
PubMed ID:24616511

Download

[img]
Preview
Content: Accepted Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 1MB
View at publisher
[img]
Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF - Registered users only
Size: 4MB

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations