Recent Patents Reveal Microtubules as Persistent Promising Target for Novel Drug Development for Cancers

Author(s): Usha Bughani, Shiwang Li, Harish C. Joshi

Journal Name: Recent Patents on Anti-Infective Drug Discovery

Volume 4 , Issue 3 , 2009

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Conventionally, the successful targets for the drug development in cancer range from the DNA damage, replication, signal transduction pathways, hormones, cytokines, anti-angiogenic agents, and radio/photo-sensitizers. They dominate the therapeutic arena after the initial debulking surgery. More recently, tubulin, the primary constituent of microtubules (MTs), has made a fairly successful debut in the therapeutic armamentarium. Tubulin binding drugs come in two classes: that depolymerize microtubules and that over-polymerize and bundle them. Microtubule (MT) binding drugs are in some ways superior in nature primarily because of their less debilitating side effects when compared to the generalized DNA metabolism targeting agents, and many new promising patents are being funneled into the drug development pipeline. Nevertheless, many of these relatively new agents still face challenges relating to their delivery methods, bioavailability, toxicities, and the inevitable resistance shared by all chemotherapeutics. Finally, we disclose a new genre of anti-MT drugs, noscapinoids that have just begun climbing the clinical trials ladder. The lead compound, noscapine, is a plant derived, orally available, minimally-toxic (if at all) agent that has shown phenomenal promise in the preclinical experimentation and Phase-I clinical trial. A rational approach based upon the precise molecular model of the tubulin-noscapine complex is bound to inspire novel and better therapeutic analogs in future.

Keywords: Patents, anti-tubulin drugs, taxanes, vincas, cancer, noscapine

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Article Details

Year: 2009
Page: [164 - 182]
Pages: 19
DOI: 10.2174/157489109789318532
Price: $58

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