The protein tubulin is a target for several anti-mitotic drugs, which affect microtubule dynamics, ultimately leading to cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Many of these drugs, including the taxanes and Vinca alkaloids, are currently used clinically in the treatment of several types of cancer. Another tubulin binding drug, colchicine, although too toxic to be used as a chemotherapeutic agent, is commonly used for the treatment of gout. The main disadvantage that all of these drugs share is that they bind tubulin indiscriminately, leading to the death of both cancerous and healthy cells. However, the broad cellular distribution of several tubulin isotypes provides a platform upon which to construct novel chemotherapeutic drugs that could differentiate between different cell types, reducing the undesirable side effects associated with current chemotherapeutic treatments. Here, we report an analysis of ten human β tubulin isotypes and discuss differences within each of the previously characterized paclitaxel, colchicine and vinblastine binding sites.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering