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Microtubule assembly dynamics: an attractive target for anticancer drugs.

Authors
  • Singh, Parminder1
  • Rathinasamy, Krishnan
  • Mohan, Renu
  • Panda, Dulal
  • 1 School of Biosciences and Bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai 400076, India. , (India)
Type
Published Article
Journal
IUBMB Life
Publisher
Wiley (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2008
Volume
60
Issue
6
Pages
368–375
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1002/iub.42
PMID: 18384115
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Microtubules, composed of alphabeta tubulin dimers, are dynamic polymers of eukaryotic cells. They play important roles in various cellular functions including mitosis. Microtubules exhibit differential dynamic behaviors during different phases of the cell cycle. Inhibition of the microtubule assembly dynamics causes cell cycle arrest leading to apoptosis; thus, qualifying them as important drug targets for treating several diseases including cancer, neuronal, fungal, and parasitic diseases. Although several microtubule-targeted drugs are successfully being used in cancer chemotherapy, the development of resistance against these drugs and their inherent toxicities warrant the development of new agents with improved efficacy. Several antimicrotubule agents are currently being evaluated for their possible uses in cancer chemotherapy. Benomyl, griseofulvin, and sulfonamides have been used as antifungal and antibacterial drugs. Recent reports have shown that these drugs have potent antitumor potential. These agents are shown to inhibit proliferation of different types of tumor cells and induce apoptosis by targeting microtubule assembly dynamics. However, unlike vincas and taxanes, which inhibit cancer cell proliferation in nanomolar concentration range, these agents act in micromolar range and are considered to have limited toxicities. Here, we suggest that these drugs may have a significant use in cancer chemotherapy when used in combination with other anticancer drugs.

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