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AAN 2021 | Using taxanes to counteract MT dysfunction induced by spastin loss

Recent evidence has demonstrated the relevance of microtubule (MT)-severing enzymes, spastin, and katanin, in strengthening and amplifying microtubules through the induction of repair at nanodamaged sites along the polymer’s length. Antonina Roll-Mecak, PhD, Unit of Cell Biology and Biophysics, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, MD, discusses the implications of these findings. Loss of severing enzyme activity leads to sparse and disorganized microtubule networks, in turn causing defects in synaptic transmission and neurodegeneration. Dr Roll-Mecak highlights the potential of microtubule targeting agents that can enhance growth and nucleation, to negate the effects of spastin/katanin loss. This interview took place during the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 2021 Annual Meeting.