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Chem Soc Rev. 2011 Jan;40(1):246-57. doi: 10.1039/c0cs00004c. Epub 2010 Oct 1.

Activity-based probes: discovering new biology and new drug targets.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, South Kensington Campus, Imperial College, London, SW7 2AZ, UK.


The development and application of chemical technologies enabling direct analysis of enzyme activity in living systems has undergone explosive growth in recent years. Activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) is a key constituent of this broad field, and is among the most powerful and mature chemical proteomic technologies. This tutorial review introduces the essential features of ABPP and the design and application of activity-based probes (ABPs) from drug target elucidation and in vivo visualisation of enzyme activity to comprehensive profiling of the catalytic content of living systems, and the discovery of new biological pathways.

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