A 1,536-well ultra-high-throughput siRNA screen to identify regulators of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway

Namjin Chung, Shane Marine, Emily A. Smith, Robert Liehr, S. Todd Smith, Louis Locco, Edward Hudak, Anthony Kreamer, Alison Rush, Brian Roberts, Michael B. Major, Randall T. Moon, William Arthur, Michele Cleary, Berta Strulovici, Marc Ferrer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


High-throughput siRNA screens are now widely used for identifying novel drug targets and mapping disease pathways. Despite their popularity, there remain challenges related to data variability, primarily due to measurement errors, biological variance, uneven transfection efficiency, the efficacy of siRNA sequences, or off-target effects, and consequent high false discovery rates. Data variability can be reduced if siRNA screens are performed in replicate. Running a large-scale siRNA screen in replicate is difficult, however, because of the technical challenges related to automating complicated steps of siRNA transfection, often with multiplexed assay readouts, and controlling environmental humidity during long incubation periods. Small-molecule screens have greatly benefited in the past decade from assay miniaturization to high-density plates such that 1,536-well nanoplate screenings are now a routine process, allowing fast, efficient, and affordable operations without compromising underlying biology or important assay characteristics. Here, we describe the development of a 1,536-well nanoplate siRNA transfection protocol that utilizes the instruments commonly found in small-molecule high throughput screening laboratories. This protocol was then successfully demonstrated in a triplicate large-scale siRNA screen for the identification of regulators of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-294
Number of pages9
JournalAssay and Drug Development Technologies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010


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