Affiliation: Centre for Biodiscovery and School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington 6140, New Zealand.
Drugs that target microtubules are a successful class of anti-cancer agents that have been in clinical use for over two decades. Acquired resistance to these drugs, however, remains a serious problem. Microtubule alterations, such as tubulin mutations and altered β- tubulin isotype expression, are prominent factors in development of resistance. Changes in actin and intermediate filament proteins can also mediate sensitivity to microtubule-targeting drugs. This review focuses on the mechanisms by which alterations in cytoskeletal proteins lead to drug resistance. This information will be helpful for improving the targeting of microtubule toxins.