Kinases are important drug targets because they are involved in an enormous number of cellular signaling pathways. However, the ubiquity of kinases makes it difficult to get selective inhibitors that just hit one kinase, even if the role of the kinase is known.

Kevan Shokat of the University of California at San Francisco and colleagues last week published in Nature, a chemical genetic approach to rapidly dissect out the roles of individual kinases - an approach that is much more efficient than traditional methods.