Chemical genetics

Chem Soc Rev. 2011 Aug;40(8):4332-45. doi: 10.1039/c1cs15053g. Epub 2011 May 12.


Chemical genetics can be defined as the study of biological systems using small molecule tools. Cell permeable and selective small molecules modulate gene product function rapidly, reversibly and can be administered conditionally in either a cellular or organismal context. The small molecule approach provides exacting temporal and quantitative control and is therefore an extremely powerful tool for dissecting biological processes. This tutorial review has been written to introduce the subject to a broad audience and highlights recent developments within the field in four key areas of biology: modulating protein-protein interactions, malaria research, hepatitis C virus research, and disrupting RNA interference pathways.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Genetic Research
  • Genetic Techniques*
  • Hepacivirus / genetics
  • Malaria / genetics
  • Molecular Biology / methods*
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / chemistry
  • Plasmodium falciparum / genetics
  • Protein Interaction Maps
  • RNA Interference
  • Small Molecule Libraries


  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense
  • Small Molecule Libraries