Microtubins: a novel class of small synthetic microtubule targeting drugs that inhibit cancer cell proliferation.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21945
Microtubule targeting drugs like taxanes, vinca alkaloids, and epothilones are widely-used and effective chemotherapeutic agents that target the dynamic instability of microtubules and inhibit spindle functioning. However, these drugs have limitations associated with their production, solubility, efficacy and unwanted toxicities, thus driving the need to identify novel antimitotic drugs that can be used as anticancer agents. We have discovered and characterized the Microtubins (Microtubule inhibitors), a novel class of small synthetic compounds, which target tubulin to inhibit microtubule polymerization, arrest cancer cells predominantly in mitosis, activate the spindle assembly checkpoint and trigger an apoptotic cell death. Importantly, the Microtubins do not compete for the known vinca or colchicine binding sites. Additionally, through chemical synthesis and structure-activity relationship studies, we have determined that specific modifications to the Microtubin phenyl ring can activate or inhibit its bioactivity. Combined, these data define the Microtubins as a novel class of compounds that inhibit cancer cell proliferation by perturbing microtubule polymerization and they could be used to develop novel cancer therapeutics.