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Genes that Modulate the Sensitivity for Anti-Microtubule Drug-Mediated Chemotherapy

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Spindle poisons/anti-microtubule drugs are established chemotherapy drugs. These drugs primarily target microtubules and mitotic spindles, activate spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC), resulting in caspase-mediated cell death. However, the terminal phenotypes of drug-treated cells are surprisingly heterogeneous ranging from mitotic catastrophe to apparent senescence, suggesting that input from a variety of signaling pathways influences the cell death process. In recent years, studies revealed several signaling pathways that modulate the efficacy of spindle poisons. In this review, we discuss the genes and pathways whose inhibition or overexpression modulates spindle poison sensitivity. These genes cluster to (i) microtubule, microtubule associated proteins (MAPS) and actin cytoskeleton regulators, (ii) the SAC components, (iii) signaling proteins, (iv) chaperones, (v) cell cycle regulators, (vi) proteasome components, (vii) transcription factors and nuclear receptors, and (viii) apoptotic factors. These gene products would be potential targets for drugs to be combined with spindle poisons. Expression status of these genes would also serve as a prognostic marker for spindle poison- mediated chemotherapy. Understanding signaling pathways involved in drug efficacy will aid to rationally develop synergistic chemotherapy strategy.

Keywords: Taxol; anti-microtubule drug; cell death; chemotherapy; microtubule; mitosis; nocodazole; spindle

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2010-09-01

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  • Current Cancer Drug Targets aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, genomics and biochemistry of contemporary molecular drug targets involved in cancer, e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes.
    Each issue of the journal contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on drug targets involved in cancer.
    As the discovery, identification, characterization and validation of novel human drug targets for anti-cancer drug discovery continues to grow; this journal has become essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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