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Breast Cancer. 2011 Apr;18(2):103-19. doi: 10.1007/s12282-010-0224-7. Epub 2010 Sep 23.

The microtubule as a breast cancer target.

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Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, West Virginia University Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, Morgantown, WV, USA.


Manifestations of non-equilibrium polarity, random transgressions, and catastrophes are not conditions usually associated with a sense of normalcy. Yet these disquieting features distinguish a utilitarian behavior known as dynamic instability, the signature characteristic of the microtubule. Long known to be a tumor target, disruption of this fragile attribute is associated with some of the most effective agents used to treat breast cancer today. Although the biology of the microtubule is under intense investigation much still remains unknown. As such, our understanding of regulatory molecules and resistance mechanisms are still rudimentary, further compromising our ability to develop novel therapeutic strategies to improve microtubule inhibitors. This review focuses on several classes of anti-microtubule agents and their effects on the functional dynamics of the targeted polymer. The primary objective is to critically examine the molecular mechanisms that contribute to tumor cell death, tumor-resistance, and incident neurotoxicity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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