Chemical genetics and drug discovery in Xenopus

Matthew L Tomlinson, Adam E Hendry, Grant N Wheeler
Methods in Molecular Biology 2012, 917: 155-66
Chemical genetics uses small molecules to modulate protein function and has the potential to perturb any biochemical event in a complex cellular context. The application of chemical genetics to dissect biological processes has become an attractive alternative to mutagenesis screens due to its technical simplicity, inexpensive reagents, and low-startup costs. Xenopus embryos are particularly amenable to whole organism chemical genetic screens. Here we describe the basic protocols we have developed to screen small compound libraries on Xenopus laevis embryos. We score embryos either by observing phenotypic changes in the whole tadpole or by changes in gene expression pattern using automated wholemount in situ hybridization.

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