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Science 306 (5693): 67-68

Copyright © 2004 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

CELL BIOLOGY:
Chemical Genetics Hits "Reality"

David S. Bellows and Mike Tyers

Forward chemical genetic screening is analogous to the classical genetics strategy of mutagenesis, except that a small molecule takes the place of a genetic mutation in altering the function of one or more gene products. In their Perspective, Bellows and Tyers discuss an elegant forward chemical genetic screen that identifies small-molecule inhibitors called ubistatins that disrupt the cell's protein degradation machinery (Verma et al.). This work is an excellent example of the systematic identification of small-molecule inhibitors of complex biological processes and the characterization of their molecular targets.


The authors are at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1X5, Canada. E-mail: tyers{at}mshri.on.ca



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