The identification of a small molecule inhibitor of mitotic spindle formation may signal the beginning of a new crop of compounds that prevent cell division.

By targeting regulatory components of the cytoskeleton of dividing cells, such compounds may avoid the side effects seen with chemotherapeutics that target tubulin, such as paclitaxel and vincristine. Tubulin is the structural component of microtubules, which are not only important for the mitotic spindle that mediates chromosome segregation during cell division, but also for vesicle transport and cellular architecture in non-dividing cells.