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Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2004 Feb;8(1):81-90.

From large networks to small molecules.

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Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, 600 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1X5, Canada.


Large-scale analysis of genetic and physical interaction networks has begun to reveal the global organization of the cell. Cellular phenotypes observed at the macroscopic level depend on the collective characteristics of protein and genetic interaction networks, which exhibit scale-free properties and are highly resistant to perturbation of a single node. The nascent field of chemical genetics promises a host of small-molecule probes to explore these emerging networks. Although the robust nature of cellular networks usually resists the action of single agents, they may be susceptible to rationally designed combinations of small molecules able to collectively shift network behavior.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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