Homing In on Their Targets

Science  01 Jul 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5731, pp. 15l
DOI: 10.1126/science.309.5731.15l

Elucidation of their molecular targets of drugs and bioactive natural products that have been discovered fortuitously is essential for understanding both their therapeutic and adverse effects. Target identification is also important where high-throughput screens are used to identify bioactive small molecules with a desired phenotype from large chemical libraries. Won et al. (p. 121) present a novel technology, magnetism-based interaction capture, or MAGIC, for systematic molecular target identification in human cells at the single-cell level with high sensitivity and selectivity. By binding superparamagnetic nanoparticles to a variety of bioactive substances, target proteins could be identified within living cells.

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