What are the most popular methods for monitoring the delivery of a siRNA/shRNA?
FAQ ID -9035

Fluorescently-labeled siRNA molecules have been shown to be transfected and processed in a manner that is indistinguishable from unlabeled siRNA. Therefore, these molecules serve as a powerful tool for simultaneously optimizing both siRNA transfection efficiency and the knock down of gene expression. FlexiTube siRNA and HP Custom siRNA is available at 20 nmol scale with different fluorescence labels including AlexaFluor dyes.

Quantitative gene expression analysis via a quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) assay is the gold standard for assessing the extent of gene expression knock down in an RNAi experiment. Alternative RNA detection methods, such as Northern blots, RNase protection assays, or end-point PCR, are not quantitative enough to reliably validate gene expression knock down. The RT2 qPCR Primer Assays are available for any gene in the human, mouse, or rat genome. Using these in combination with the pre-optimized RT2 SYBR Green Mastermixes, and the RT2 First Strand Kit provides the easiest, and most reliable, method for quickly evaluating the effectiveness of your gene expression knock down protocol.

Monitoring expression at the protein level via Western blot analysis, ELISA, immunofluorescence, or a functional assay is a critical step in confirming that a gene expression knock down experiment is ultimately resulting in decreased protein levels. However, it is very important to bear in mind that the kinetics of RNA knock down and protein knock down do not usually parallel one another. If the protein under study has a long half-life, then changes in protein level will take much longer to occur than changes in the RNA level. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that the quality of any antibody-based protein detection assay is dependent upon the quality of the antibody being used.

Phenotypic change in the cells following siRNA delivery, can sometimes be a useful readout for monitoring the effectiveness of an RNAi experiment. AllStars Cell Death Control siRNA is a phenotypic siRNA that has been developed to work in virtually all cell times, as it consists of a blend of siRNAs addressing different vital pathways.