There are two closely linked research areas in the fight against cancer: microtubules and epothilones.
There are two closely linked research areas in the fight against cancer: microtubules and epothilones. Microtubules are linear polymers of tubulin, a globular protein, that transport vesicles, chromosomes and other biological matter in cells, and epothilones are natural products that can stabilise microtubules and in turn inhibit cancer-cell growth.
Karl-Heinz Altmann from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Switzerland, has looked at the different structures of the epothilones and maps out the progress to date in getting drugs based on them to the elusive clinical-trial stage. He fully believes that epothilone-derived anti-cancer drugs will make their way into clinical practice.
Meanwhile, Linda Amos at the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge University, UK, has got the other side of this research covered and has taken a close look at the different physical structures of microtubules, and how these structures are stabilised by the epothilone-based drugs such as Taxol. Now that these two aspects of this research area have been fully updated, the scientific community can build on previous research to continue in the anti-cancer battle.
K-H Altmann, Org. Biomol. Chem., 2004 (DOI: 10.1039/ <MAN>b405839a</MAN>)
L A Amos, Org. Biomol. Chem., 2004 (DOI: 10.1039/ <MAN>b403634d</MAN>)