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DNA 2.0, Inc. Introduces RNAissance Genes: Industry's First Synthetic RNAi-Resistant Genes


10/19/2005 5:13:13 PM

MENLO PARK, Calif., April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- DNA 2.0, Inc. (http://www.dnatwopointo.com/), a leader in synthetic biology, today announced the introduction of RNAissance(TM) genes. These twenty thousand RNAi-resistant human genes are immediately available at the company's comprehensive online gene catalog, PlanetGene(TM), which already offers twenty-five thousand expression-optimized human genes for scientific research. RNAissance genes provide a simple and rapid way to ensure that the correct gene target is identified using RNAi. This can prevent wasting months of experimentation and hundreds of thousands of dollars studying spurious targets. RNAissance is one of many synthetic gene product lines that DNA 2.0 will offer on PlanetGene. The expansion of PlanetGene continues the company's commitment to close the gap between information and experimentation. DNA 2.0 provides cost-effective and innovative tools for research to accelerate drug discovery and product development.

"RNAi has quickly become the method of choice to identify gene function in mammalian cells," said Jeremy Minshull, president of DNA 2.0. "However, several recent reports show that many non-specific effects can be induced by siRNA. We have addressed this problem by developing RNAissance genes, and we are excited to add RNAissance to the PlanetGene catalog, offering researchers a new, low-cost synthetic gene which is both a perfect control, and a potential starting point for a new set of experiments."

The RNAissance Benefits for Experimental Research

To address potential pitfalls in the widely used RNAi-inhibition technique, DNA 2.0 used its Protein-2-DNA(TM) software to design synthetic RNAi-resistant (RNAissance) genes. These are designed to escape silencing, complementing wild-type function, and can quickly demonstrate whether observed siRNA effects are specific to inhibition of the target gene. RNAissance genes encode natural human amino acid sequences and have codon biases that ensure high expression in human cell lines cells. Their nucleotide sequences share only 60-75% identity with the original human gene, so that they are no longer recognized by siRNA-complexes targeted towards the endogenous gene. RNAissance genes will restore normal gene function in the presence of siRNA that silences the chromosomal copies. This is a perfect control: if the RNAissance gene does not restore the wild-type phenotype, the siRNA is exerting non-specific effects.

RNAissance genes provide a starting point for gene function studies: the endogenous gene can be removed using siRNA. Variants based on the RNAissance sequence, such as alanine scanning mutants, or variations found in SNPs, can be added back to ask more detailed question the function of any human gene.

About PlanetGene

PlanetGene(TM) is the largest repository of synthetic genes available in an online catalog format, easily accessed and searchable on the basis of amino acid sequences, keywords, or Genbank accession numbers. Each gene has been optimized for expression in both bacterial and mammalian systems, allowing users to easily move between the two experimental systems. The genes have also been designed to avoid features that are frequently problematic in protein expression. PlanetGene provides immediate access to synthetic human genes designed for use in the two major expression platforms, transforming the efficiency and effectiveness of biological research from basic science to drug discovery.

Following the addition of RNAissance Genes(TM), DNA 2.0 will continue building the PlanetGene repository and will be expanding to offer codon optimized genes from other organisms. PlanetGene can be accessed directly at http://www.planetgene.com/ or through the DNA 2.0 website.

About DNA 2.0, Inc.

DNA 2.0 is the developer of two platform technologies, the DNA-2-Go(TM) gene synthesis process and DeNovo Genes(TM), a protein engineering and sequence optimization technology. The firm's charter is to exploit the synergy between a highly efficient gene synthesis process and new protein optimization technologies. DNA 2.0 is applying its DNA-2-Go custom genes synthesis process and its DeNovo Genes platform technology to design and produce information- rich gene variants. These gene variants are synthesized individually and then tested for functional activity. The data is analyzed and mapped as a mega dimensional projection of the correlated sequence-function space. The DeNovo Genes technology is uniquely suited to engineering proteins for commercial applications such as industrial biocatalysis and healthcare products including therapeutic proteins and diagnostic reagents. A basic version of Protein-2- DNA(TM) software can be downloaded free from http://www.protein2dna.com/. For more information please visit http://www.dnatwopointo.com/ or email info@dnatwopointo.com.

DNA 2.0, Inc.

CONTACT: Claes Gustafsson of DNA 2.0, Inc., +1-650-853-8347 orcorpcom@dnatwopointo.com



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