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Are siRNA Pools Smart?

represent the mean caspase 3 activity relative to a negative control (Silencer Negative Control #1 siRNA; Ambion) transfected sample. (B) Representative results from specific genes illustrate the types of agreement and disagreement that occurred between the various siRNAs.


Cell Proliferation Results
Cell number was measured using an alamarBlue (AccuMed International) microplate-based assay. These results were confirmed by high-throughput microscopy. As shown in Figure 3A, siRNAs targeting the various kinases differentially affected cell number relative to negative control transfected samples. Different siRNAs targeting the same gene typically had similar effects on cell proliferation; however, it was common for one of the three single siRNAs to behave differently from the other two siRNAs. Similarly, siRNA pools often failed to display a phenotype consistent with the majority of the siRNAs that were individually transfected (Figure 3B).


Apoptosis Assay Results
During screens for kinases that influence apoptosis, both cell number and caspase 3 activity were measured following siRNA transfection and etoposide treatment. Assaying for cell number was necessary because some of the transfected siRNAs differentially altered cell growth or survival. Normalization of the caspase 3 activity data by cell number allowed us to express data as caspase 3 activity per cell. As expected, reducing expression of several kinases inhibited activation of caspase 3 by etoposide, suggesting that these kinases play a role
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