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Chem Biol. 2005 Jan;12(1):55-63.

A genome-wide overexpression screen in yeast for small-molecule target identification.

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Department of Chemistry, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


We describe a multicopy gene suppression screen of drug sensitivity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae that facilitates the identification of cellular targets of small molecules. An array of yeast transformants harboring a multicopy yeast genomic library was screened for resistance to growth inhibitors. Comparison of array growth patterns for several such inhibitors allowed the differentiation of general and molecule-specific genetic suppressors. Specific resistance to phenylaminopyrimidine (1), an inhibitor identified from a kinase-directed library, was associated with the overexpression of Pkc1 and a subset of downstream kinases. Components of two other pathways (pheromone response/filamentous growth and Pho85 kinase) that genetically interact with the PKC1 MAPK signaling cascade were also identified. Consistent with the suppression screen, inhibitor 1 bound to Pkc1 in yeast cell lysate and inhibited its activity in vitro. These results demonstrate the utility of this approach for the rapid deconvolution of small-molecule targets.

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