Choose and Use Your Chemical Probe Wisely to Explore Cancer Biology

Publication date: 10 July 2017
Source:Cancer Cell, Volume 32, Issue 1
Author(s): Julian Blagg, Paul Workman
Small-molecule chemical probes or tools have become progressively more important in recent years as valuable reagents to investigate fundamental biological mechanisms and processes causing disease, including cancer. Chemical probes have also achieved greater prominence alongside complementary biological reagents for target validation in drug discovery. However, there is evidence of widespread continuing misuse and promulgation of poor-quality and insufficiently selective chemical probes, perpetuating a worrisome and misleading pollution of the scientific literature. We discuss current challenges with the selection and use of chemical probes, and suggest how biologists can and should be more discriminating in the probes they employ.

Teaser

Small-molecule chemical probes or tools have become progressively more important in recent years as valuable reagents to investigate fundamental biological mechanisms and processes causing disease, including cancer. Chemical probes have also achieved greater prominence alongside complementary biological reagents for target validation in drug discovery. However, there is evidence of widespread continuing misuse and promulgation of poor-quality and insufficiently selective chemical probes, perpetuating a worrisome and misleading pollution of the scientific literature. We discuss current challenges with the selection and use of chemical probes, and suggest how biologists can and should be more discriminating in the probes they employ.

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