Life and Death Decisions

Science  10 Jan 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5604, pp. 214-215
DOI: 10.1126/science.1081274

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Screening small molecules for their ability to perturb a cellular pathway, a strategy called forward chemical genetics, can yield unexpected information about other pathway components. This is well illustrated by new work (Jiang et al.), as Nicholson and Thornberry discuss in their Perspective. Discovery of a small-molecule activator of apoptosis implicated a tumor suppressor protein and an oncoprotein in the regulation of the mitochondrial cell death pathway.

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