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Intrinsic And Extrinsic Factors Affecting Microtubule Dynamics In Normal And Cancer Cells

Filip Borys, Ewa Joachimiak, Hanna Krawczyk, Hanna Fabczak

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Microtubules (MTs), highly dynamic structures composed of α- and β-tubulin heterodimers, are involved in cell movement and intracellular traffic and are essential for cell division. Within the cell, MTs are not uniform as they can be composed of different tubulin isotypes that are post-translationally modified and interact with different microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs). These diverse intrinsic factors influence the dynamics of MTs. Extrinsic factors such as microtubule-targeting agents (MTAs) can also affect MT dynamics. MTAs can be divided into two main categories: microtubule-stabilizing agents (MSAs) and microtubule-destabilizing agents (MDAs). Thus, the MT skeleton is an important target for anticancer therapy. This review discusses factors that determine the microtubule dynamics in normal and cancer cells and describes microtubule–MTA interactions, highlighting the importance of tubulin isoform diversity and post-translational modifications in MTA responses and the consequences of such a phenomenon, including drug resistance development.