Chemical genetics strategies for identification of molecular targets
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SourcePhytochemistry Reviews (2013) 12:895–914
Chemical genetics is an emerging field that can be used to study the interactions of chemical compounds, including natural products, with proteins. Usually, the identification of molecular targets is the starting point for studying a drug’s mechanism of action and this has been a crucial step in understanding many biological processes. While a great variety of target identification methods have been developed over the last several years, there are still many bioactive compounds whose target proteins have not yet been revealed because no routine protocols can be adopted. This review contains information concerning the most relevant principles of chemical genetics with special emphasis on the different genomic and proteomic approaches used in forward chemical genetics to identify the molecular targets of the bioactive compounds, the advantages and disadvantages of each and a detailed list of successful examples of molecular targets identified with these approaches.