Objective, Quantitative, Data-Driven Assessment of Chemical Probes

Cell Chem Biol. 2018 Feb 15;25(2):194-205.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2017.11.004. Epub 2017 Dec 14.


Chemical probes are essential tools for understanding biological systems and for target validation, yet selecting probes for biomedical research is rarely based on objective assessment of all potential compounds. Here, we describe the Probe Miner: Chemical Probes Objective Assessment resource, capitalizing on the plethora of public medicinal chemistry data to empower quantitative, objective, data-driven evaluation of chemical probes. We assess >1.8 million compounds for their suitability as chemical tools against 2,220 human targets and dissect the biases and limitations encountered. Probe Miner represents a valuable resource to aid the identification of potential chemical probes, particularly when used alongside expert curation.

Keywords: chemical probes; chemical tools; large-scale; objective quantitative assessment; online public resource; target validation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical
  • Humans
  • Molecular Probes / chemistry*
  • Small Molecule Libraries / chemistry*


  • Molecular Probes
  • Small Molecule Libraries