HPLC Purified siRNA with Known RNAi Effects at $149/12.5nmol

RNA oligo is significantly more difficult to synthesize than DNA oligos, mainly because the efficiency of coupling each new ribonucleotide during RNA synthesis is a few fold lower than deoxyribonucleotide during DNA synthesis. Typically, there is an ~10% chance a DNA oligo of 21 bases will have a mutation (most frequently a deletion mutation); for an RNA oligo of 21 bases, as in an siRNA pair, such chance is much higher. Furthermore, after combining the sense and antisense siRNA strands, some RNA molecules will remain as single-stranded thereby not fitting for the RNAi apparatus.

RNA interference is a dose-sensitive process — specificity of gene silencing is meaningful only relative to the active concentration of siRNA used. When the concentration is too low, even the most effective siRNAs would fail to cause gene expression knockdown; when too high, non-specific effects will be duly observed. Therefore, it is essential that the concentrations of siRNAs are measured correctly. When doing so, one must consider not only what the apparent concentrations are by OD260 reading, but also whether the RNA strands are of full-length and whether only dsRNA molecules are counted. This issue might not affect data interpretation if appropriate controls are included in one set of RNAi experiments, but it could have significant influence on conclusions if data from different experiment sets or labs are compared or combined.

HPLC purification currently provides the best means to remove RNA molecules with deletions or remain single-stranded, however, the price tag added by most reagent providers for such treatment has been prohibiting because manufacturers either need to start synthesis at a much bigger scale to obtain promised amount, or they do not promise the delivery quantity at all. The phosphoramidites (oligo building blocks) for RNA synthesis can be 10 times or more expensive than for DNA. Some companies offer alternative purification methods such as a cartridge type device, but they can only remove salt and small impurities, not RNA oligos of shorter lengths accumulated at each cycle of amide coupling. The AllHPLC siRNAs within Allele’s RNAi product line, pre-validated or custom made, are uniformly HPLC purified with 5 OD or 12.5 nmol of double-stranded, annealed siRNA delivered. Allele passes to customers the cost savings from manufacturing our own RNA amidites and other reagents for oligo synthesis. The pre-validated HPLC purified double-stranded siRNA is offered today at $149/12.5 nmol.

Before purchasing siRNAs, even at a low cost of $29 per pair of HPLC purified control siRNA from Allele, researchers still need to consider how well their cells can be transfected. For hard-to-transfect cells, lentiviral vectors carrying a shRNA expressing cassette is often a better choice. To establish stable cell lines, plasmid vectors should be considered. For low cost target screening, the PCR format linear siRNA expression cassettes have advantages.

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Thursday, September 17th, 2009 oligos and cloning, Uncategorized No Comments

Economy and Your Research: Carpets and Oligos

Do you believe in six-degrees of separation? If you really don’t care how close you are related to Roger Tsien or Bill Gates or the dean of your graduate school, maybe you are still curious about how the economy downturn, oil production, and floor carpet production got to do with you–not just in the sense how the job market is shaping up, but also how your lab research budget and how your DNA oligos are served.

To illustrate how events far and away can influence your daily activities, just use oligos as an example. Starting in 2008 when the oil price was still near its peak (remember paying $4+/gallon?), it became too expensive for carpet producers to continue using petroleum for manufacturing carpets. They switched to some other source or halted business altogether. Side effect was production and supply of Acetonitrile (ACN) dried up. Yes, one of the most commonly used organic solvent is a by-product from making carpets. That, combined with facility shutdowns in Northern China in preparation of the summer Olympics (for clean air) and in Florida by a major hurricane, the price of 4 liters of Acetonitrile changed from ~$40 to about $400 plus lots of begging. This event alone pushed individual customer based (as compared to large scale or prefabricated) oligo businesses like Allele’s to be at a loss.

Eventually the situation changed, price went back to about $90/4L, but not before a long period when Acetonitrile was completely unavailable and alternative solvent had to be used. Long story short, that was some storm to whether! If you didn’t feel it in price or service from Allele Oligo, good, that means we did a fair job shielding the wind and shouldering the pressure from the collapsing roof.

Everything really is connected, sometimes by a few degrees less than you would imagine.

Allele’s mottos: care about the environment, help everybody whenever we can, do the right thing even when nobody is looking, have fun, and contribute to the good of mankind through science and innovation.

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Friday, August 14th, 2009 oligos and cloning, State of Research No Comments

Why Allele?

Allele provides you with tools that you will find very helpful.  The two main motives for Allele developed products are:
1) To incorporate the most advanced technologies in the field
2) To provide equal utility as other companies’ equivalent products at a much more reasonable cost.

How did we do it?        By developing technologies internally, in most cases with government grant funding, by in-licensing others’ discoveries, and by listening to you, our customers.

What else do we do?      Conduct basic curiosity-driven research just like most of our customers. It helps to stay on the edge and connect to the community.

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Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 Customer Feedback, Open Forum No Comments