Promotion of microtubule assembly in vitro by taxol [19]

Peter B. Schiff, Jane Fant, Susan Band Horwitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2848 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

TAXOL (Fig. 1) was isolated from the plant Taxus brevifolia (western yew) by Wani et al., who reported that the molecule has antitumour activity in several experimental systems1. In our laboratory we have found that taxol, a low molecular weight neutral compound, completely inhibits division of exponentially growing HeLa cells at low concentrations of drug (0.25 M) that have no significant effects on DNA, RNA or protein synthesis during a 4-h incubation with the cells. HeLa cells incubated with taxol for 20 h are blocked in late G2 and/or M (ref. 2). We report here that taxol acts as a promoter of calf brain microtubule assembly in vitro, in contrast to plant products such as colchicine and podophyllotoxin, which inhibit assembly. Taxol decreases the lag time for microtubule assembly and shifts the equilibrium for assembly in favour of the microtubule, thereby decreasing the critical concentration of tubulin required for assembly. Microtubules polymerised in the presence of taxol are resistant to depolymerisation by cold (4 °C) and CaCl2 (4 mM).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)665-667
Number of pages3
JournalNature
Volume277
Issue number5698
DOIs
StatePublished - 1979

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Paclitaxel
Microtubules
HeLa Cells
Podophyllotoxin
Taxus
Colchicine
Tubulin
Molecular Weight
In Vitro Techniques
RNA
DNA
Brain
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Promotion of microtubule assembly in vitro by taxol [19]. / Schiff, Peter B.; Fant, Jane; Band Horwitz, Susan.

In: Nature, Vol. 277, No. 5698, 1979, p. 665-667.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Schiff, Peter B. ; Fant, Jane ; Band Horwitz, Susan. / Promotion of microtubule assembly in vitro by taxol [19]. In: Nature. 1979 ; Vol. 277, No. 5698. pp. 665-667.
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