Anti-Mitotic and Anti-Parasitic Drugs
The cytoskeleton is a very effective drug target for the treatment of disease. We have
been performing a number of studies to characterize many drugs and natural products that
target actin filaments and microtubules in both vertebrate and parasitic systems. Some of these
projects are briefly highlighted below.
- Vinca Domain Peptides
We are interested in how the cryptophycins , hemiasterlin and dolastatin
block tubulin polymerization, disrupt spindle microtubules and induce
the self-association of tubulin dimers into single-protofilament rings
We are currently working to define the mechanism of action of these
drugs on the parasitic tubulin, primarily for diseases such as malaria,
toxoplasmosis and leishmaniasis.
We are characterizing the allosteric mechanism of Taxol function on the microtubule
and how this drug affects the mechanics of the microtubule.