a Department of Toxicology, Military Medical Academy, Hradec Kralove, b Department of Physiology nad Developmental Biology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Prague c Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Prague
The review deals with current knowledge of microtubule inhibitors from different natural sources, which are a very variegated group of compounds with a strong effect on cytoskeletal functions. Their use is one of the most frequent therapeutic strategies in carcinoma treatment. Drugs like taxol or vinblastine are widely used, although they have some drawbacks. The discovery of new compounds, such as epothilones, halichondrins, lamellarins, didemnins, could overcome some of the problems occurring in application of the earlier drugs. In addition, these natural compounds are used as an outstanding scientific tool in physiological and biochemical experiments, serving as model structures for synthesis of new compounds with expected effects and better pharmacological properties, such as synthetic taxanes docetaxel, vindesin or vinorelbin.
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