RNAi/CRISPR Screens: from a Pool to a Valid Hit

Anne Schuster, Hélène Erasimus, Sabrina Fritah, Petr V. Nazarov, Eric van Dyck, Simone P. Niclou*, Anna Golebiewska

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


High-throughput genetic screens interfering with gene expression are invaluable tools to identify gene function and phenotype-to-genotype interactions. Implementing such screens in the laboratory is challenging, and the choice between currently available technologies based on RNAi and CRISPR/Cas9 (CRISPR-associated protein 9) is not trivial. Identifying reliable candidate hits requires a streamlined experimental setup adjusted to the specific biological question. Here, we provide a critical assessment of the various RNAi/CRISPR approaches to pooled screens and discuss their advantages and pitfalls. We specify a set of best practices for key parameters enabling a reproducible screen and provide a detailed overview of analysis methods and repositories for identifying the best candidate gene hits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-55
Number of pages18
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • CRISPR/Cas9
  • RNAi
  • essential genes
  • library pooled screens


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