What tubulin drugs tell us about microtubule structure and dynamics

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2011 Dec;22(9):916-26. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2011.09.014. Epub 2011 Oct 5.


A wide range of small molecules, including alkaloids, macrolides and peptides, bind to tubulin and disturb microtubule assembly dynamics. Some agents inhibit assembly, others inhibit disassembly. The binding sites of drugs that stabilize microtubules are discussed in relation to the properties of microtubule associated proteins. The activities of assembly inhibitors are discussed in relation to different nucleotide states of tubulin family protein structures.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites
  • Humans
  • Microtubules / chemistry
  • Microtubules / drug effects*
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Microtubules / ultrastructure*
  • Tubulin / chemistry*
  • Tubulin / metabolism*
  • Tubulin / ultrastructure
  • Tubulin Modulators / chemistry
  • Tubulin Modulators / metabolism
  • Tubulin Modulators / pharmacology*


  • Tubulin
  • Tubulin Modulators