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Nat Chem Biol. 2006 Jan;2(1):19-27.

Unraveling cell division mechanisms with small-molecule inhibitors.

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Laboratory of Chemistry and Cell Biology, Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021, USA.


Cell division is the process by which a cell creates two genetically identical daughter cells. To maintain genomic integrity, a complex and highly regulated sequence of events ensures that the replicated chromosomes are equally partitioned between the daughter cells. For more than 50 years, strategies designed around small-molecule inhibitors have been critical in advancing our understanding of this essential process. Here we introduce a series of questions on the biology of cell division and illustrate how small molecules have been used to design experiments to address these questions. Because of the highly dynamic nature of cell division, the temporal control over protein function that is possible with small molecules has been particularly valuable in dissecting biological mechanisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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