U-M Center for Chemical Genomics
News from the CCG:

In This Issue
Jason Gestwicki is new Director of the CCG
Whole genome siRNA screening now in CCG

Jason Gestwicki is new Director of the Center for Chemical Genomics (CCG)

U-M Life Sciences Institute (LSI) has named Jason Gestwicki as the new Director of the Center for Chemical Genomics. Gestwicki will take over the role of director for LSI faculty member David Sherman.  Sherman is assuming the role of associate dean for research and graduate education in the U-M's College of Pharmacy. Rick Neubig, Professor of Pharmacology, continues in his role as Co-Director of the CCG. For more information, read the full news release.

Whole genome siRNA screening now in CCG


Rick Neubig, Department of Pharmacology, Co-Director, CCG.


The CCG is recognized for its chemical screening resources but we now have available a whole-genome mammalian genetics screen capability. In 2009, we acquired* the Dharmacon siGenome human and mouse whole genome smart pool libraries. They include pools of 4 oligonucleotide small-interfering RNAs (siRNA) against each of ~18,000 human or ~17,000 mouse genes. They can be used to do an unbiased analysis of genes involved in complex biological processes.

Why do siRNA screens? You may know the basic elements of a cellular signaling pathway but would like to know what other processes are required for or modulate that signaling process. Alternatively, in different cell contexts (e.g. pancreatic beta cells vs. cardiac myocytes) the process may utilize different subtypes of key signaling elements. A whole genome siRNA screen would point you to both unknown genes affecting the process or to specific subtypes of large gene families that are critical in your cell system. This is of importance biologically but it can also reveal novel drug targets that may be attacked chemically in a drug discovery effort. To support latter, the CCG also provides a "subset" screening library termed the "druggable genome" collection, which includes many common Pharma drug targets such as GPCRs, kinases, phosphatases, and ion channels. It also includes proteases and elements of the ubiquitin proteasome mechanisms.


How do I do a whole genome siRNA screen?
The approach to a siRNA screen is very similar to that for a small molecule screen. In fact, if you have done a cell-based small molecule screen, you may be able to rapidly set up and run a siRNA screen using the same biological readout. A key element is a robust, reproducible signal that can be detected in 384-well plates. Also, optimizing the "reverse" transfection method for your specific system with the appropriate type of lipid transfection reagent, cell counts, and other conditions is essential.


What does it cost?
Every siRNA screen is unique so cost will vary depending on assay specifics but a subset screen starts at ~$5000 and a whole-genome screen is ~$20,000.


A brief video on setting up siRNA screens is available on the CCG web site. Contact Martha Larsen in CCG for details.

The Center for Chemical Genomics (CCG) assists researchers in carrying out high-throughput screens of chemical and siRNA libraries to identify new tools for biological research.  The CCG also provides access to MScreen, an open-source, high-throughput (HTS) data storage and analysis system.  If you are receiving this email from another source and would like to be added to the mailing list, please contact Vashni Santee

CCG Colloquium Series 

Friday, November 18 

9:00-10:00 a.m. 

Forum Hall, 4th floor Palmer Commons


Zaneta Nikolovska-Coleska, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pathology, 

U-M and "Targeting apoptosis pathways in cancer therapy"

Host: Rick Neubig


Funding Opportunities

Funds available for MDRTC members for siRNA and small-molecule screens performed in the CCG. For details, click here. 


Funds available from the Nathan Shock Center for subsidized use of UM Research Cores. For details,
CCG-Related Publications

Fribley AM et al. (2011)
Complementary cell-based high-throughput screens identify novel modulators of the unfolded protein response.

J Biomol Screen Sep;16(8):825-35. 
PubMed Link 


Blazer LL et al. (2011)
A nanomolar-potency small molecule inhibitor of regulator of G-protein signaling proteins.
Biochemistry Apr19;50(15):3181-92.
 PubMed Link 


Bainor A et al. (2011)
Bicinchoninic acid (BCA) assay in low volume.

Anal Biochem, Mar15;410(2):310-2.    

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