High-throughput RNAi screen for essential genes and drug synergistic combinations in colorectal cancer

Sci Data. 2017 Oct 3;4:170139. doi: 10.1038/sdata.2017.139.


Metastatic colorectal cancer is a leading cause of cancer death. However, current therapy options are limited to chemotherapy, with the addition of anti-EGFR antibodies for patients with RAS wild-type tumours. Novel drug targets, or drug combinations that induce a synergistic response, would be of great benefit to patients. The identification of genes that are essential for cell survival can be undertaken using functional genomics screens. Furthermore, performing such screens in the presence of a targeted agent would allow the identification of combinations that result in a synthetic lethal interaction. Here, we present a dataset containing the results of a large scale RNAi screen (815 genes) to detect essential genes as well as synergistic combinations with targeted therapeutic agents using a panel of 27 colorectal cancer cell lines. These data identify genes that are essential for colorectal cancer cell survival as well as synthetic lethal treatment combinations using novel computational approaches. Moreover, this dataset could be utilised in combination with genomic profiling to identify predictive biomarkers of response.

Publication types

  • Dataset
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Drug Synergism
  • Genes, Essential
  • Humans
  • RNA Interference


  • Biomarkers, Tumor