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Advances in chemical genetics.

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Department of Biological Sciences and Department of Chemistry, Columbia University, Fairchild Center, New York, New York 10027, USA.


Chemical genetics is an emerging approach for studying biological systems using chemical tools. This strategy aims to reveal the macromolecules responsible for regulating biological systems; thus, the approach shares much in common with genetics. In both strategies, one must (a) develop an assay that reports on a biological process of interest, (b) perturb this process systematically (with mutations or small molecules), and (c) determine the target of each perturbation to reveal macromolecules (i.e., proteins and genes) regulating the process of interest. In this review, we discuss advances and challenges in this field that have emerged over the past four years. Several technologies have converged, raising the hope that it may be possible to systematically apply chemical probes to biological processes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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