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Curr Oncol Rep. 2008 Mar;10(2):122-9.

Tubulin-associated proteins: Aurora and Polo-like kinases as therapeutic targets in cancer.

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Translational Research Division, Translational Genomics Research Institute, 445 North Fifth Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA.


Tubulin is a very important target for cancer-fighting therapies; therefore, the cancer research community continues to adopt new ways of developing the therapeutic potential of tubulin and tubulin-associated proteins. Two families of tubulin-associated kinases, Aurora and Polo-like, have received significant attention regarding how they contribute to tumorigenesis and can be targeted with selective small molecule inhibitors. Aurora and Polo-like kinases play essential roles in centrosome separation, chromosome alignment and segregation, and cytokinesis. Inhibition of any of these kinases results in abnormal mitotic events (which vary depending on the particular family member) and eventually leads to apoptosis. Because of the biological consequences of inhibiting these kinases, several Aurora or Polo-like selective inhibitors have advanced to various stages of preclinical and clinical development; the most advanced are currently in phase 2 clinical trials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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