Hitting the brakes

Targeting microtubule motors in cancer

Gayathri Chandrasekaran, P. Tátrai, Fanni Gergely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite the growing number of therapies that target cancer-specific pathways, cytotoxic treatments remain important clinical tools. The rationale for targeting cell proliferation by chemotherapeutic agents stems from the assumption that tumours harbour a greater fraction of actively dividing cells than normal tissues. One such group of cytotoxic drugs impair microtubule polymers, which are cytoskeletal components of cells essential for many processes including mitosis. However, in addition to their antimitotic action, these agents cause debilitating and dose-limiting neurotoxicity because of the essential functions of microtubules in neurons. To overcome this limitation, drugs against mitosis-specific targets have been developed over the past decade, albeit with variable clinical success. Here we review the key lessons learnt from antimitotic therapies with a focus on inhibitors of microtubule motor proteins. Furthermore, based on the cancer genome data, we describe a number of motor proteins with tumour type-specific alterations, which warrant further investigation in the quest for cytotoxic targets with increased cancer specificity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-698
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Volume113
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2015

Fingerprint

Microtubules
Antimitotic Agents
Neoplasms
Mitosis
Microtubule Proteins
Cellular Structures
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Polymers
Cell Proliferation
Genome
Neurons
Therapeutics
Proteins

Keywords

  • antimitotics
  • cancer
  • kinesins
  • microtubules
  • mitosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Hitting the brakes : Targeting microtubule motors in cancer. / Chandrasekaran, Gayathri; Tátrai, P.; Gergely, Fanni.

In: British Journal of Cancer, Vol. 113, No. 5, 01.09.2015, p. 693-698.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chandrasekaran, Gayathri ; Tátrai, P. ; Gergely, Fanni. / Hitting the brakes : Targeting microtubule motors in cancer. In: British Journal of Cancer. 2015 ; Vol. 113, No. 5. pp. 693-698.
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