Microtubules are filamentous intracellular structures that are responsible for several aspects of the cell morphology since they form the cytoskeleton in eukary-otic cells and are also responsible for various kinds of cell movements because they are part of the cilia and flagella.

Microtubules are hollow structures formed by 13 parallel protofilaments that grow and shorten by the reversible, noncovalent addition of tubulin dimers at their ends. Tubulin is a protein that contains two subunits called a and p in a head to tail arrangement. Microtubules and free tubulin dimers are involved in a highly dynamic equilibrium, which is very sensitive to external factors (Fig. 8.1).

Medicinal Chemistry of Anticancer Drugs © 2008 Elsevier B. V.

DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-444-52824-7.00008-1 All rights reserved.

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