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Prog Cell Cycle Res. 2003;5:309-25.

Tubulin and microtubules as targets for anticancer drugs.

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Centre for Molecular Drug Design, Department of Chemistry, University of Salford, Manchester, M5 4WT, UK.


Microtubules are intracellular organelles formed from the protein tubulin. These organelles have a number of essential cellular functions including chromosome segregation, the maintenance of cell shape, transport, motility, and organelle distribution. Drugs that affect the tubulin-microtubule equilibrium (taxol, vinca alkaloids) are effective anticancer drugs. This review describes the molecular target, methods used in screening, the structures of compounds known to interact with tubulin, and the clinical use of these agents. In addition the ability of these agents to destroy tumour vasculature is described. This represents an exciting new molecular target in the design of anticancer drugs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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