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RNAi Transfection Results in Lipidome Changes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Article number1800298
Issue number13
Early online date17 May 2019
Accepted/In press15 May 2019
E-pub ahead of print17 May 2019
PublishedJul 2019


King's Authors


RNAi experiments are ubiquitously used in cell biology and are achieved by transfection of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) into cells using a transfection reagent. These results in knock‐down of proteins of interest, and the phenotypic consequences are then analyzed. It is reported here that two common RNA interference (RNAi) transfection reagents, DharmaFECT 1 and INTERFERin, in mock transfections using non‐targeting siRNAs, cause alterations in the lipidome of HeLa cells. Some lipids change in response to both, presumably chemically different, transfection reagents, while other lipid species change only in response to one of the reagents. While the functional implications of these lipidomic alterations remain to be investigated, the authors' experiments suggest that it is important to use appropriate mock transfection controls during RNAi experiments, ideally complemented by an orthogonal perturbation, especially when investigating membrane‐associated phenomena.

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