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 and spirals.
  • Dinitroanilines
    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.
  • Taxol
    We are characterizing the allosteric mechanism of Taxol function on the microtubule and how this drug affects the mechanics of the microtubule.