Recent progress with microtubule stabilizers: new compounds, binding modes and cellular activities
Covering: late 2008 to August 2013
Nature has yielded numerous classes of chemically distinct microtubule stabilizers. Several of these, including paclitaxel (Taxol) and docetaxel (Taxotere), are important drugs used in the treatment of cancer. New microtubule stabilizers and novel formulations of these agents continue to provide advances in cancer therapy. In this review we cover recent progress in the chemistry and biology of these diverse microtubule stabilizers focusing on the wide range of organisms that produce these compounds, their mechanisms of inhibiting microtubule-dependent processes, mechanisms of drug resistance, and their interactions with tubulin including their distinct binding sites and modes. A new potential role for microtubule stabilizers in neurodegenerative diseases is reviewed.