Publications by authors named "Pascal Verdier-Pinard"

30 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Septin-microtubule association via a motif unique to isoform 1 of septin 9 tunes stress fibers.

J Cell Sci 2022 Jan 10;135(1). Epub 2022 Jan 10.

Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Marseille (CRCM), INSERM, Institut Paoli-Calmettes, Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, 13009 Marseille, France.

Septins, a family of GTP-binding proteins that assemble into higher order structures, interface with the membrane, actin filaments and microtubules, and are thus important regulators of cytoarchitecture. Septin 9 (SEPT9), which is frequently overexpressed in tumors and mutated in hereditary neuralgic amyotrophy (HNA), mediates the binding of septins to microtubules, but the molecular determinants of this interaction remained uncertain. We demonstrate that a short microtubule-associated protein (MAP)-like motif unique to SEPT9 isoform 1 (SEPT9_i1) drives septin octamer-microtubule interaction in cells and in vitro reconstitutions. Septin-microtubule association requires polymerizable septin octamers harboring SEPT9_i1. Although outside of the MAP-like motif, HNA mutations abrogate this association, identifying a putative regulatory domain. Removal of this domain from SEPT9_i1 sequesters septins on microtubules, promotes microtubule stability and alters actomyosin fiber distribution and tension. Thus, we identify key molecular determinants and potential regulatory roles of septin-microtubule interaction, paving the way to deciphering the mechanisms underlying septin-associated pathologies. This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jcs.258850DOI Listing
January 2022

iASPP contributes to cell cortex rigidity, mitotic cell rounding, and spindle positioning.

J Cell Biol 2021 12 27;220(12). Epub 2021 Oct 27.

Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Marseille, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Institut Paoli-Calmettes, Aix-Marseille Université, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Marseille, France.

iASPP is a protein mostly known as an inhibitor of p53 pro-apoptotic activity and a predicted regulatory subunit of the PP1 phosphatase, which is often overexpressed in tumors. We report that iASPP associates with the microtubule plus-end binding protein EB1, a central regulator of microtubule dynamics, via an SxIP motif. iASPP silencing or mutation of the SxIP motif led to defective microtubule capture at the cortex of mitotic cells, leading to abnormal positioning of the mitotic spindle. These effects were recapitulated by the knockdown of the membrane-to-cortex linker Myosin-Ic (Myo1c), which we identified as a novel partner of iASPP. Moreover, iASPP or Myo1c knockdown cells failed to round up upon mitosis because of defective cortical stiffness. We propose that by increasing cortical rigidity, iASPP helps cancer cells maintain a spherical geometry suitable for proper mitotic spindle positioning and chromosome partitioning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1083/jcb.202012002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8562848PMC
December 2021

Insights into animal septins using recombinant human septin octamers with distinct SEPT9 isoforms.

J Cell Sci 2021 08 5;134(15). Epub 2021 Aug 5.

Institut Fresnel, CNRS UMR7249, Aix Marseille Univ, Centrale Marseille, 13013 Marseille, France.

Septin GTP-binding proteins contribute essential biological functions that range from the establishment of cell polarity to animal tissue morphogenesis. Human septins in cells form hetero-octameric septin complexes containing the ubiquitously expressed SEPT9 subunit (also known as SEPTIN9). Despite the established role of SEPT9 in mammalian development and human pathophysiology, biochemical and biophysical studies have relied on monomeric SEPT9, thus not recapitulating its native assembly into hetero-octameric complexes. We established a protocol that enabled, for the first time, the isolation of recombinant human septin octamers containing distinct SEPT9 isoforms. A combination of biochemical and biophysical assays confirmed the octameric nature of the isolated complexes in solution. Reconstitution studies showed that octamers with either a long or a short SEPT9 isoform form filament assemblies, and can directly bind and cross-link actin filaments, raising the possibility that septin-decorated actin structures in cells reflect direct actin-septin interactions. Recombinant SEPT9-containing octamers will make it possible to design cell-free assays to dissect the complex interactions of septins with cell membranes and the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jcs.258484DOI Listing
August 2021

EB1-binding-myomegalin protein complex promotes centrosomal microtubules functions.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2017 12 21;114(50):E10687-E10696. Epub 2017 Nov 21.

Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Marseille (CRCM), INSERM, Institut Paoli-Calmettes, CNRS, Aix-Marseille Université,13009 Marseille, France;

Control of microtubule dynamics underlies several fundamental processes such as cell polarity, cell division, and cell motility. To gain insights into the mechanisms that control microtubule dynamics during cell motility, we investigated the interactome of the microtubule plus-end-binding protein end-binding 1 (EB1). Via molecular mapping and cross-linking mass spectrometry we identified and characterized a large complex associating a specific isoform of myomegalin termed "SMYLE" (for short myomegalin-like EB1 binding protein), the PKA scaffolding protein AKAP9, and the pericentrosomal protein CDK5RAP2. SMYLE was associated through an evolutionarily conserved N-terminal domain with AKAP9, which in turn was anchored at the centrosome via CDK5RAP2. SMYLE connected the pericentrosomal complex to the microtubule-nucleating complex (γ-TuRC) via Galectin-3-binding protein. SMYLE associated with nascent centrosomal microtubules to promote microtubule assembly and acetylation. Disruption of SMYLE interaction with EB1 or AKAP9 prevented microtubule nucleation and their stabilization at the leading edge of migrating cells. In addition, SMYLE depletion led to defective astral microtubules and abnormal orientation of the mitotic spindle and triggered G1 cell-cycle arrest, which might be due to defective centrosome integrity. As a consequence, SMYLE loss of function had a profound impact on tumor cell motility and proliferation, suggesting that SMYLE might be an important player in tumor progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1705682114DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5740655PMC
December 2017

Eribulin targets a ch-TOG-dependent directed migration of cancer cells.

Oncotarget 2015 Dec;6(39):41667-78

Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Marseille, Inserm, Marseille, France.

Non-cytotoxic concentrations of microtubule targeting agents (MTAs) interfere with the dynamics of interphase microtubules and affect cell migration, which could impair tumor angiogenesis and metastasis. The underlying mechanisms however are still ill-defined. We previously established that directed cell migration is dependent on stabilization of microtubules at the cell leading edge, which is controlled by microtubule +end interacting proteins (+TIPs). In the present study, we found that eribulin, a recently approved MTA interacting with a new class of binding site on β-tubulin, decreased microtubule growth speed, impaired their cortical stabilization and prevented directed migration of cancer cells. These effects were reminiscent of those observed when +TIP expression or cortical localization was altered. Actually, eribulin induced a dose-dependent depletion of EB1, CLIP-170 and the tubulin polymerase ch-TOG from microtubule +ends. Interestingly, eribulin doses that disturbed ch-TOG localization without significant effect on EB1 and CLIP-170 comets, had an impact on microtubule dynamics and directed migration. Moreover, knockdown of ch-TOG led to a similar inhibition of microtubule growth speed, microtubule capture and chemotaxis. Our data suggest that eribulin binding to the tip of microtubules and subsequent loss of ch-TOG is a priming event leading to alterations in microtubule dynamics and cancer cell migration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6147DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4747180PMC
December 2015

ErbB2-dependent chemotaxis requires microtubule capture and stabilization coordinated by distinct signaling pathways.

PLoS One 2013 29;8(1):e55211. Epub 2013 Jan 29.

Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Marseille, Inserm U1068, Marseille, France.

Activation of the ErbB2 receptor tyrosine kinase stimulates breast cancer cell migration. Cell migration is a complex process that requires the synchronized reorganization of numerous subcellular structures including cell-to-matrix adhesions, the actin cytoskeleton and microtubules. How the multiple signaling pathways triggered by ErbB2 coordinate, in time and space, the various processes involved in cell motility, is poorly defined. We investigated the mechanism whereby ErbB2 controls microtubules and chemotaxis. We report that activation of ErbB2 increased both cell velocity and directed migration. Impairment of the Cdc42 and RhoA GTPases, but not of Rac1, prevented the chemotactic response. RhoA is a key component of the Memo/ACF7 pathway whereby ErbB2 controls microtubule capture at the leading edge. Upon Memo or ACF7 depletion, microtubules failed to reach the leading edge and cells lost their ability to follow the chemotactic gradient. Constitutive ACF7 targeting to the membrane in Memo-depleted cells reestablished directed migration. ErbB2-mediated activation of phospholipase C gamma (PLCγ) also contributed to cell guidance. We further showed that PLCγ signaling, via classical protein kinases C, and Memo signaling converged towards a single pathway controlling the microtubule capture complex. Finally, inhibiting the PI3K/Akt pathway did not affect microtubule capture, but disturbed microtubule stability, which also resulted in defective chemotaxis. PI3K/Akt-dependent stabilization of microtubules involved repression of GSK3 activity on the one hand and inhibition of the microtubule destabilizing protein, Stathmin, on the other hand. Thus, ErbB2 triggers distinct and complementary pathways that tightly coordinate microtubule capture and microtubule stability to control chemotaxis.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0055211PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3558493PMC
July 2013

Characterization of a human βV-tubulin antibody and expression of this isotype in normal and malignant human tissue.

Cytoskeleton (Hoboken) 2012 Aug 2;69(8):566-76. Epub 2012 Jul 2.

Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461, USA.

There are seven distinct β-tubulin isotypes and eight α-tubulin isotypes in mammals that are hypothesized to have tissue- and cell-specific functions. There is an interest in the use of tubulin isotypes as prognostic markers of malignancy. βV-tubulin, like βIII-tubulin, has been implicated in malignant transformation and drug resistance, however little is known about its localization and function. Thus, we generated for the first time, a rabbit polyclonal antibody specific for human βV-tubulin. The antibody did not cross-react with mouse βV-tubulin or other human β-tubulin isotypes and specifically labeled βV-tubulin by immunoblotting, immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry. Immunohistochemistry of various human normal tissues revealed that βV-tubulin was expressed in endothelial cells, myocytes and cells with muscle differentiation, structures with transport and/or secretory function such as renal tubules, pancreatic ducts and bile ducts, and epithelium with secretory function such as prostate. βV-tubulin was also specifically expressed in pancreatic islets and intratubular germ cell neoplasia, where it may have diagnostic utility. Initial studies in breast, lung and ovarian cancers indicated aberrant expression of βV-tubulin, suggesting that this isoform may be associated with tumorigenesis. Thus, βV-tubulin expression is a potentially promising prognostic marker of malignancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cm.21043DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3870480PMC
August 2012

Tyrosine-dependent capture of CAP-Gly domain-containing proteins in complex mixture by EB1 C-terminal peptidic probes.

J Proteomics 2012 Jun 21;75(12):3605-16. Epub 2012 Apr 21.

Inserm UMR 911, Centre de Recherche en Oncologie biologique et en Oncopharmacologie 27 Boulevard Jean Moulin, 13385 Marseille Cedex 5, France.

Microtubule dynamics is regulated by an array of microtubule associated proteins of which the microtubule plus-end tracking proteins (+TIPs) are prominent examples. +TIPs form dynamic interaction networks at growing microtubule ends in an EB1-dependent manner. The interaction between the C-terminal domain of EB1 and the CAP-Gly domains of the +TIP CLIP-170 depends on the last tyrosine residue of EB1. In the present study, we generated peptidic probes corresponding to the C-terminal tail of EB1 to affinity-capture binding partners from cell lysates. Using an MS-based approach, we showed that the last 15 amino-acid residues of EB1, either free or immobilized on beads, bound recombinant CAP-Gly domains of CLIP-170. We further demonstrate that this binding was prevented when the C-terminal tyrosine of EB1 was absent in the peptidic probes. Western blotting in combination with a label-free quantitative proteomic analysis revealed that the peptidic probe harboring the C-terminal tyrosine of EB1 effectively pulled-down proteins with CAP-Gly domains from endothelial cell extracts. Additional proteins known to interact directly or indirectly with EB1 and the microtubule cytoskeleton were also identified. Our peptidic probes represent valuable tools to detect changes induced in EB1-dependent +TIP networks by external cues such as growth factors and small molecules.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jprot.2012.04.006DOI Listing
June 2012

Septin 9 isoform expression, localization and epigenetic changes during human and mouse breast cancer progression.

Breast Cancer Res 2011 Aug 10;13(4):R76. Epub 2011 Aug 10.

Department of Genetics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University, 1301 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.

Introduction: Altered expression of Septin 9 (SEPT9), a septin coding for multiple isoform variants, has been observed in several carcinomas, including colorectal, head and neck, ovarian and breast, compared to normal tissues. The mechanisms regulating its expression during tumor initiation and progression in vivo and the oncogenic function of its different isoforms remain elusive.

Methods: Using an integrative approach, we investigated SEPT9 at the genetic, epigenetic, mRNA and protein levels in breast cancer. We analyzed a panel of breast cancer cell lines, human primary tumors and corresponding tumor-free areas, normal breast tissues from reduction mammoplasty patients, as well as primary mammary gland adenocarcinomas derived from the polyoma virus middle T antigen, or PyMT, mouse model. MCF7 clones expressing individual GFP-tagged SEPT9 isoforms were used to determine their respective intracellular distributions and effects on cell migration.

Results: An overall increase in gene amplification and altered expression of SEPT9 were observed during breast tumorigenesis. We identified an intragenic alternative promoter at which methylation regulates SEPT9_v3 expression. Transfection of specific GFP-SEPT9 isoforms in MCF7 cells indicates that these isoforms exhibit differential localization and affect migration rates. Additionally, the loss of an uncharacterized SEPT9 nucleolar localization is observed during tumorigenesis.

Conclusions: In this study, we found conserved in vivo changes of SEPT9 gene amplification and overexpression during human and mouse breast tumorigenesis. We show that DNA methylation is a prominent mechanism responsible for regulating differential SEPT9 isoform expression and that breast tumor samples exhibit distinctive SEPT9 intracellular localization. Together, these findings support the significance of SEPT9 as a promising tool in breast cancer detection and further emphasize the importance of analyzing and targeting SEPT9 isoform-specific expression and function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/bcr2924DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3236340PMC
August 2011

Septin roles in tumorigenesis.

Biol Chem 2011 Aug 11;392(8-9):725-38. Epub 2011 Jul 11.

Department of Genetics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.

Septins are a family of cytoskeleton related proteins consisting of 14 members that associate and interact with actin and tubulin. From yeast to humans, septins maintain a conserved role in cytokinesis and they are also involved in a variety of other cellular functions including chromosome segregation, DNA repair, migration and apoptosis. Tumorigenesis entails major alterations in these processes. A substantial body of literature reveals that septins are overexpressed, downregulated or generate chimeric proteins with MLL in a plethora of solid tumors and in hematological malignancies. Thus, members of this gene family are emerging as key players in tumorigenesis. The analysis of septins during cancer initiation and progression is challenged by the presence of many family members and by their potential to produce numerous isoforms. However, the development and application of advanced technologies is allowing for a more detailed analysis of septins during tumorigenesis. Specifically, such applications have led to the establishment and validation of SEPT9 as a biomarker for the early detection of colorectal cancer. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the role of septins in tumorigenesis, emphasizing their significance and supporting their use as potential biomarkers in various cancer types.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/BC.2011.073DOI Listing
August 2011

MALDI in-source decay of high mass protein isoforms: application to alpha- and beta-tubulin variants.

Anal Chem 2010 Jul;82(14):6176-84

INSERM UMR 911, Centre de Recherche en Oncologie biologique et en Oncopharmacologie, Plateforme d'Innovation Technologique Timone, 27 Boulevard Jean Moulin, 13385 Marseille Cedex 5, France.

Tubulin is one of the major targets in cancer chemotherapy and the target of more than twenty percent of the cancer chemotherapic agents. The modulation of isoform content has been hypothesized as being a cause of resistance to treatment. Isoform differences lie mostly in the C-terminus part of the protein. Extensive characterization of this polypeptide region is therefore of critical importance. MALDI-TOF fragmentation of tubulin C-terminal domains was tested using synthetic peptides. Then, isotypes from HeLa cells were successfully characterized for the first time by in-source decay (ISD) fragmentation of their C-terminus coupled to a pseudo MS(3) technique named T(3)-sequencing. The fragmentation occurred in-source, preferentially generating y(n)-series ions. This approach required guanidination for the characterization of the beta(III)-tubulin C-terminus peptide. This study is, to our knowledge, the first example of reflectron in-source decay (reISD) of the C-terminus of a 50 kDa protein. This potentially occurs via a CID-like mechanism occurring in the MALDI plume. There are now new avenues for top-down characterization of important clinical biomarkers such as beta(III)-tubulin isotypes, a potential marker of drug resistance and tumor progression. This paper raises the challenge of protein isotypes characterization for early cancer detection and treatment monitoring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ac100996vDOI Listing
July 2010

Methods in tubulin proteomics.

Methods Cell Biol 2010 ;95:105-26

Laboratory of Macromolecular Analysis and Proteomics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461, USA.

New analytical methods are needed for the successful outcome of experiments aimed at characterizing mechanisms of microtubule dynamics and at understanding the effects of drugs on microtubules. The identification of tubulin isotypes and of regions of the microtubule involved in drug interactions has been advanced by proteomic methodologies. The diversity of tubulin sequences and posttranslational modifications (PTMs) can generate a complex mixture of heterodimers with unique molecular dynamics driving specific functions. Mass spectrometry (MS)-based approaches have been developed, and in combination with chromatographic and/or electrophoretic separation of tubulin polypeptides or peptides, they have contributed to our understanding of tubulin proteomics. We present protocols that we have used for the analysis of tubulin isotypes and PTMs present in tubulin isolated from cells in culture or tissues and for the identification of tubulin regions altered by microtubule-stabilizing agents. Tubulin proteomics complements structural and computer modeling information for a high-resolution view of microtubule dynamics and its alteration by drugs. These methodologies will help in providing insights into tubulin isotype-specific functions and in the design of drugs targeting either all tubulin heterodimers indiscriminately or only those containing specific isotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0091-679X(10)95007-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4039033PMC
August 2010

Post-translational modifications to Toxoplasma gondii alpha- and beta-tubulins include novel C-terminal methylation.

J Proteome Res 2010 Jan;9(1):359-72

Departments of Pathology, Laboratory for Macromolecular Analysis and Proteomics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461, USA.

Toxoplasma gondii is an apicomplexan of both medical and veterinary importance which is classified as an NIH Category B priority pathogen. It is best known for its ability to cause congenital infection in immune competent hosts and encephalitis in immune compromised hosts. The highly stable and specialized microtubule-based cytoskeleton participates in the invasion process. The genome encodes three isoforms of both alpha- and beta-tubulin and we show that the tubulin is extensively altered by specific post-translational modifications (PTMs) in this paper. T. gondii tubulin PTMs were analyzed by mass spectrometry and immunolabeling using specific antibodies. The PTMs identified on alpha-tubulin included acetylation of Lys40, removal of the last C-terminal amino acid residue Tyr453 (detyrosinated tubulin) and truncation of the last five amino acid residues. Polyglutamylation was detected on both alpha- and beta-tubulins. An antibody directed against mammalian alpha-tubulin lacking the last two C-terminal residues (Delta2-tubulin) labeled the apical region of this parasite. Detyrosinated tubulin was diffusely present in subpellicular microtubules and displayed an apparent accumulation at the basal end. Methylation, a PTM not previously described on tubulin, was also detected. Methylated tubulins were not detected in the host cells, human foreskin fibroblasts, suggesting that this may be a modification specific to the Apicomplexa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/pr900699aDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2813730PMC
January 2010

Distinct pose of discodermolide in taxol binding pocket drives a complementary mode of microtubule stabilization.

Biochemistry 2009 Dec;48(49):11664-77

Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461, USA.

The microtubule cytoskeleton has proven to be an effective target for cancer therapeutics. One class of drugs, known as microtubule stabilizing agents (MSAs), binds to microtubule polymers and stabilizes them against depolymerization. The prototype of this group of drugs, Taxol, is an effective chemotherapeutic agent used extensively in the treatment of human ovarian, breast, and lung carcinomas. Although electron crystallography and photoaffinity labeling experiments determined that the binding site for Taxol is in a hydrophobic pocket in beta-tubulin, little was known about the effects of this drug on the conformation of the entire microtubule. A recent study from our laboratory utilizing hydrogen-deuterium exchange (HDX) in concert with various mass spectrometry (MS) techniques has provided new information on the structure of microtubules upon Taxol binding. In the current study we apply this technique to determine the binding mode and the conformational effects on chicken erythrocyte tubulin (CET) of another MSA, discodermolide, whose synthetic analogues may have potential use in the clinic. We confirmed that, like Taxol, discodermolide binds to the taxane binding pocket in beta-tubulin. However, as opposed to Taxol, which has major interactions with the M-loop, discodermolide orients itself away from this loop and toward the N-terminal H1-S2 loop. Additionally, discodermolide stabilizes microtubules mainly via its effects on interdimer contacts, specifically on the alpha-tubulin side, and to a lesser extent on interprotofilament contacts between adjacent beta-tubulin subunits. Also, our results indicate complementary stabilizing effects of Taxol and discodermolide on the microtubules, which may explain the synergy observed between the two drugs in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bi901351qDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2845443PMC
December 2009

Tubulin proteomics: towards breaking the code.

Anal Biochem 2009 Jan 18;384(2):197-206. Epub 2008 Sep 18.

INSERM UMR 911 CRO2, Aix-Marseille Université, Faculté de Pharmacie, 27 bd Jean Moulin, 13285 Marseille cedex 05, France.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ab.2008.09.020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4039029PMC
January 2009

Antiangiogenic vinflunine affects EB1 localization and microtubule targeting to adhesion sites.

Mol Cancer Ther 2008 Jul;7(7):2080-9

Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale UMR 911, Centre de Recherche en Oncologie Biologique et en Oncopharmacologie Aix-Marseille Université, Marseilles, France.

The motile behavior of endothelial cells is a crucial event for neoangiogenesis. We previously showed that noncytotoxic concentrations of vinflunine inhibit capillary-like tube formation on Matrigel and endothelial cell migration with a concomitant increase in interphase microtubule dynamic instability. In this article, we further investigated the effects of vinflunine on migration and cytoskeleton interaction dynamics in HMEC-1 endothelial cells. We confirmed that vinflunine, at low and noncytotoxic concentrations (0.01-1 nmol/L), inhibited endothelial cell random motility by 54%. This effect was associated with a decrease in the percentage of stable microtubules and in the mean duration of pauses for dynamic ones. Moreover, we found that vinflunine altered adhesion site targeting by microtubules and suppressed the microtubule (+) end pause that occurs at adhesion sites during cell migration (from 151 +/- 20 seconds in control cells to 38 +/- 7 seconds in vinflunine-treated cells, P < 0.001). This effect was associated with the inhibition of adhesion site dynamics and the formation of long-lived stress fibers. Importantly, we found that vinflunine altered EB1 localization at microtubule (+) ends. These results highlight a new mechanism of action of vinflunine, which act by disrupting the mutual control between microtubule and adhesion site dynamics and strengthen the role of +TIPs proteins such as EB1 as key regulators of endothelial cell motility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-08-0156DOI Listing
July 2008

Increased levels of a unique post-translationally modified betaIVb-tubulin isotype in liver cancer.

Biochemistry 2008 Jul 21;47(28):7572-82. Epub 2008 Jun 21.

Department of Developmental and Molecular Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461, USA.

Identifying changes at the molecular level during the development of hepatocellular carcinoma is important for the detection and treatment of the disease. The characteristic structural reorganization of preneoplastic cells may involve changes in the microtubule cytoskeleton. Microtubules are dynamic protein polymers that play an essential role in cell division, maintenance of cell shape, vesicle transport, and motility. They are comprised of multiple isotypes of alpha- and beta-tubulin. Changes in the levels of these isotypes may affect not only microtubule stability and sensitivity to drugs but also interactions with endogenous proteins. We employed a rat liver cancer model that progresses through stages similar to those of human liver cancer, including metastasis to the lung, to identify changes in the tubulin cytoskeleton during carcinogenesis. Tubulin isotypes in both liver and lung tissue were purified and subsequently separated by isoelectric focusing electrophoresis. The C-terminal isotype-defining region from each tubulin was obtained by cyanogen bromide cleavage and identified by mass spectrometry. A novel post-translational modification of betaIVb-tubulin in which two hydrophobic residues are proteolyzed from the C-terminus, thus exposing a charged glutamic acid residue, was identified. The unique form of betaIVb-tubulin was quantified in the liver tissue of all carcinoma stages and found to be approximately 3-fold more abundant in nodular and tumor tissue than in control tissue. The level of this form was also found to be increased in lung tissue with liver metastasis. This modification alters the C-terminal domain of one of the most abundant beta-tubulin isotypes in the liver and therefore may affect the interactions of microtubules with endogenous proteins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bi8005225DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2574767PMC
July 2008

Aneuploidy acts both oncogenically and as a tumor suppressor.

Cancer Cell 2007 Jan 28;11(1):25-36. Epub 2006 Dec 28.

Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.

An abnormal chromosome number, aneuploidy, is a common characteristic of tumor cells. Boveri proposed nearly 100 years ago that aneuploidy causes tumorigenesis, but this has remained untested due to the difficulty of selectively generating aneuploidy. Cells and mice with reduced levels of the mitosis-specific, centromere-linked motor protein CENP-E are now shown to develop aneuploidy and chromosomal instability in vitro and in vivo. An increased rate of aneuploidy does drive an elevated level of spontaneous lymphomas and lung tumors in aged animals. Remarkably, however, in examples of chemically or genetically induced tumor formation, an increased rate of aneuploidy is a more effective inhibitor than initiator of tumorigenesis. These findings reveal a role of aneuploidy and chromosomal instability in preventing tumorigenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ccr.2006.12.003DOI Listing
January 2007

Comparison of the activities of the truncated halichondrin B analog NSC 707389 (E7389) with those of the parent compound and a proposed binding site on tubulin.

Mol Pharmacol 2006 Dec 29;70(6):1866-75. Epub 2006 Aug 29.

Toxicology and Pharmacology Branch, Developmental Therapeutics Program, Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, National Cancer Institute at Frederick, National Institutes of Health, Frederick Maryland, USA 21702.

The complex marine natural product halichondrin B was compared with NSC 707389 (E7389), a structurally simplified, synthetic macrocyclic ketone analog, which has been selected for clinical trials in human patients. NSC 707389 was invariably more potent than halichondrin B in its interactions with tubulin. Both compounds inhibited tubulin assembly, inhibited nucleotide exchange on beta-tubulin, and were noncompetitive inhibitors of the binding of radiolabeled vinblastine and dolastatin 10 to tubulin. Neither compound seemed to induce an aberrant tubulin assembly reaction, as occurs with vinblastine (tight spirals) or dolastatin 10 (aggregated rings and spirals). We modeled the two compounds into a shared binding site on tubulin consistent with their biochemical properties. Of the two tubulin structures available, we selected for modeling the complex of a stathmin fragment with two tubulin heterodimers with two bound colchicinoid molecules and a single bound vinblastine between the two heterodimers (Nature (Lond) 435:519-522, 2005). Halichondrin B and NSC 707389 fit snugly between the two heterodimers adjacent to the exchangeable site nucleotide. Fitting the compounds into this site, which was also close to the vinblastine site, resulted in enough movement of amino acid residues at the vinblastine site to cause the latter compound to bind less well to tubulin. The model suggests that halichondrin B and NSC 707389 most likely form highly unstable, small aberrant tubulin polymers rather than the massive stable structures observed with vinca alkaloids and antimitotic peptides.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/mol.106.026641DOI Listing
December 2006

Insights into the mechanism of microtubule stabilization by Taxol.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2006 Jul 26;103(27):10166-10173. Epub 2006 Jun 26.

Departments of Molecular Pharmacology.

The antitumor drug Taxol stabilizes microtubules and reduces their dynamicity, promoting mitotic arrest and cell death. Upon assembly of the alpha/beta-tubulin heterodimer, GTP bound to beta-tubulin is hydrolyzed to GDP reaching a steady-state equilibrium between free tubulin dimers and microtubules. The binding of Taxol to beta-tubulin in the polymer results in cold-stable microtubules at the expense of tubulin dimers, even in the absence of exogenous GTP. However, there is little biochemical insight into the mechanism(s) by which Taxol stabilizes microtubules. Here, we analyze the structural changes occurring in both beta- and alpha-tubulin upon microtubule stabilization by Taxol. Hydrogen/deuterium exchange (HDX) coupled to liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization MS demonstrated a marked reduction in deuterium incorporation in both beta-and alpha-tubulin when Taxol was present. Decreased local HDX in peptic peptides was mapped on the tubulin structure and revealed both expected and new dimer-dimer interactions. The increased rigidity in Taxol microtubules was distinct from and complementary to that due to GTP-induced polymerization. The Taxol-induced changes in tubulin conformation act against microtubule depolymerization in a precise directional way. These results demonstrate that HDX coupled to liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization MS can be effectively used to study conformational effects induced by small ligands on microtubules. The present study also opens avenues for locating drug and protein binding sites and for deciphering the mechanisms by which their interactions alter the conformation of microtubules and tubulin dimers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0603704103DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1502429PMC
July 2006

4,5-Diaryl-1H-pyrrole-2-carboxylates as combretastatin A-4/lamellarin T hybrids: synthesis and evaluation as anti-mitotic and cytotoxic agents.

Bioorg Med Chem 2006 Jul 28;14(13):4627-38. Epub 2006 Feb 28.

Research School of Chemistry, Institute of Advanced Studies, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT.

The 4,5-diarylated-1H-pyrrole-2-carboxylates 3-8 have each been prepared as hybrids of the potent anti-mitotic agent combretastatin A-4 (1) and the similarly active marine alkaloid lamellarin T (2). The key steps involved selective lithium-for-halogen exchange at C5 within the N-PMB protected 4,5-dibromopyrrole 22 and Negishi cross-coupling of the derived zincated species with the relevant aryl iodide. The ensuing 5-aryl-4-bromopyrrole then engaged in Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling with the appropriate arylboronic acid to give the 4,5-diarylated pyrroles 4, 6 and 8. TFA-promoted removal of the N-PMB group within these last compounds then gave the N-unsubstituted congeners 3, 5 and 7. Compounds 3-8 have all been evaluated for their anti-mitotic and cytotoxic properties and two of them, 3 and 5, display useful activities although they are less potent than combretastatin A-4.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmc.2006.02.018DOI Listing
July 2006

Detection of human betaV-tubulin expression in epithelial cancer cell lines by tubulin proteomics.

Biochemistry 2005 Dec;44(48):15858-70

Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461, USA.

Tubulin, the constitutive protein of microtubules, is a heterodimeric protein with an alpha and beta subunit, encoded in vertebrates by six and seven different genes, respectively. Each tubulin isotype can be identified by its divergent C-terminal sequence. Nevertheless, two groups of beta-tubulin isotypes can be distinguished by sequence alignment; one includes betaI-, betaII-, betaIVa-, and betaIVb-tubulin, and the other includes betaIII-, betaV-, and betaVI-tubulin. betaIII-tubulin overexpression has been associated with microtubule destabilization and resistance to Taxol. Recent data indicate that mouse betaV-tubulin overexpression in CHO cells results in profound microtubule disorganization and dependence of cells on Taxol for growth. Mouse and human betaV-tubulin sequences display several differences, such as their respective extreme C-terminus, suggesting that they may have different effects on microtubule stability and different affinities for drugs. When high-resolution isoelectric focusing, in-gel CNBr cleavage, and mass spectrometry were combined, we detected for the first time the betaV-tubulin protein in human cell lines and found that it was highly expressed in Hey, an epithelial ovarian cancer cell line. Our data confirm that human and rodent betaV-tubulins are distinct and indicate that, regardless of species, betaIII- and betaV-tubulin may be expressed in a complementary pattern at the protein level. Therefore, both betaIII- and betaV-tubulin expression levels should be systematically determined to assess the role of differential tubulin isotype expression in the response of tumors to drugs targeting microtubules.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bi051004pDOI Listing
December 2005

A highly epothilone B-resistant A549 cell line with mutations in tubulin that confer drug dependence.

Mol Cancer Ther 2005 Jun;4(6):987-95

Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.

A 95-fold epothilone B (EpoB)-resistant, but not dependent, A549 human lung carcinoma cell line, A549.EpoB40 (EpoB40), has a Gln to Glu mutation at residue 292 that is situated near the M-loop of betaI-tubulin. Further selection of this cell line with higher concentrations of EpoB produced A549.EpoB480 (EpoB480), which is approximately 900-fold resistant to EpoB. This cell line, like EpoB40, exhibits cross-resistance to Taxol and extreme sensitivity to vinblastine, but in contrast to EpoB40 it is unusually dependent on EpoB, requiring a minimum of 125 nmol/L EpoB to maintain normal growth. Sequence analysis of the beta-tubulin and Kalpha1-tubulin genes in EpoB480 showed that, in addition to the beta292 mutation, beta60 was mutated from Val to Phe and alpha195 was mutated from Leu to Met. Mass spectrometry indicated that both the Val(60)Phe and Leu(195)Met mutations in betaI- and Kalpha1-tubulin, respectively, were expressed at the protein level. Molecular modeling indicated that beta60 is located at the end of the H1-S2 loop that has been implicated as a principal partner of the M-loop for contacts between protofilaments. A mutation at beta60 could inhibit the lateral contacts between protofilaments, thereby destabilizing microtubules. alpha195 is located at the external surface of the microtubule that has been proposed as the domain that interacts with a variety of endogenous proteins, such as stathmin and microtubule-associated protein 4. A mutation at alpha195 could modulate the interactions between tubulin and regulatory proteins. We propose that the betaVal(60)Phe mutation plays a critical role in the drug-dependent phenotype of EpoB480 cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-05-0024DOI Listing
June 2005

Mechanisms of Taxol resistance related to microtubules.

Oncogene 2003 Oct;22(47):7280-95

Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.

Since its approval by the FDA in 1992 for the treatment of ovarian cancer, the use of Taxol has dramatically increased. Although treatment with Taxol has led to improvement in the duration and quality of life for some cancer patients, the majority eventually develop progressive disease after initially responding to Taxol treatment. Drug resistance represents a major obstacle to improving the overall response and survival of cancer patients. This review focuses on mechanisms of Taxol resistance that occur directly at the microtubule, such as mutations, tubulin isotype selection and post-translational modifications, and also at the level of regulatory proteins. A review of tubulin structure, microtubule dynamics, the mechanism of action of Taxol and its binding site on the microtubule are included, so that the reader can evaluate Taxol resistance in context.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.onc.1206934DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4039039PMC
October 2003

Direct analysis of tubulin expression in cancer cell lines by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry.

Biochemistry 2003 Oct;42(41):12019-27

Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461, USA.

Differential expression of tubulin isotypes, mutations, and/or post-translational modifications in sensitive and Taxol-resistant cell lines suggests the existence of tubulin-based mechanisms of resistance. Since tubulin isotypes are defined by their C-terminal sequence, we previously described a matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry-based analysis of tubulin diversity in human cell lines by analysis of their CNBr-released C-terminal peptides [Rao, S., Aberg, F., Nieves, E., Horwitz, S. B., and Orr, G. A. (2001) Biochemistry 40, 2096-103]. We now describe the liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization mass spectrometry analysis of native tubulins in Taxol-stabilized microtubules from parental and Taxol/epothilone-resistant human cancer cell lines. This method allows the direct determination of tubulin isotype composition, including post-translational modifications and mutations occurring throughout the entire protein. Four major isotypes, betaI-, betaIVb-, Kalpha1-, and alpha6-tubulin, were detected in two human carcinoma cell lines, A549 and HeLa. betaIII-Tubulin represented a minor species, as did alpha4-tubulin which was detected for the first time in both cell lines. The three alpha-tubulins were almost totally tyrosinated, and post-translational modifications were limited to low levels of monoglutamylation of Kalpha1-, betaI-, and betaIII-tubulin. betaII- and betaIVa-tubulins were not detected in either parental or drug-resistant cell lines, in contrast to previous RNA-based studies. Since mutations can occur in a single tubulin allele, the question as to whether the wild-type and mutant transcripts are both translated, and to what levels, is important. Heterozygous expression of Kalpha1- or betaI-tubulin mutants that introduced mass changes as small as 26 Da was readily detected in native tubulins isolated from Taxol- and epothilone-resistant cell lines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bi0350147DOI Listing
October 2003

Total synthesis of (+/-)-rhazinal, an alkaloidal spindle toxin from Kopsia teoi.

Org Biomol Chem 2003 Jan;1(2):296-305

Research School of Chemistry, Institute of Advanced Studies, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia.

The title alkaloid 1 and its B-nor-congener 3, both of which display potent and unusual anti-mitotic properties, have been synthesized in racemic form and characterised by single-crystal X-ray analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/b209992fDOI Listing
January 2003

Analysis of tubulin isotypes and mutations from taxol-resistant cells by combined isoelectrofocusing and mass spectrometry.

Biochemistry 2003 May;42(18):5349-57

Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461, USA.

Six human alpha-tubulin and seven human beta-tubulin isotypes, each of which can undergo posttranslational modifications, have been detected by the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. This repertoire of tubulin isotypes plays a role in development and in the building of specialized microtubule-based structures. In cell lines, the relationship between resistance to microtubule-interacting drugs and altered tubulin isotype expression profiles is often established by quantitation of cDNA and/or Western blot analysis. Tubulin mutations in major isotypes are detected by sequencing cDNA, but more analysis of expression of tubulin mutations at the protein level, to assess their role in drug resistance, is needed. We utilized a Taxol-based purification and high-resolution isoelectrofocusing combined with a mass spectrometry-based analysis of tubulin. This approach has allowed the separation and relative quantitation of tubulin isotypes having a difference in isoelectric point values of 0.01, without the need for two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. The specificity of tubulin isotype antibodies also has been established. In cell lines resistant to microtubule-stabilizing drugs that express heterozygous tubulin mutations, the relative amount of mutant tubulin expression has been determined. In these cell lines, the absence of betaII- and betaIVa-tubulin has been demonstrated, and an increased level of expression of betaIII-tubulin in resistant cells has been confirmed, indicating that this tubulin isotype is a unique marker of resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bi027293oDOI Listing
May 2003

Elevated levels of microtubule destabilizing factors in a Taxol-resistant/dependent A549 cell line with an alpha-tubulin mutation.

Cancer Res 2003 Mar;63(6):1207-13

Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461, USA.

The A549 Taxol-resistant cell lines, A549-T12 and A549-T24, were isolated in our laboratory, and are dependent on Taxol for normal growth. The microtubules in these cells displayed increased dynamicity in the absence of Taxol. In the present study, a heterozygous point mutation in Kalpha1-tubulin was discovered at alpha379 (Ser to Ser/Arg). Although Taxol binds to beta-tubulin in the microtubule, sequencing of beta-tubulin class I did not reveal any mutations. The expression of the alpha-tubulin mutation was demonstrated using high-resolution isoelectric focusing and two-dimensional gel analysis. Both the wild-type and mutant tubulin were expressed in the Taxol-resistant cell lines. The region of alpha-tubulin that encompasses alpha379 is near the COOH terminus that has been proposed as a site of interaction with microtubule-associated protein (MAP) 4 and stathmin, a tubulin-interacting protein. In the Taxol-resistant cells, the active nonphosphorylated form of stathmin was increased approximately 2-fold, whereas the inactive phosphorylated forms were barely detected. The inactive phosphorylated forms of MAP4 were increased in the A549-T12 and A549-T24 cell lines. We hypothesize that these changes in tubulin/MAPs that result in increased microtubule instability may be related to the alpha-tubulin mutation and are compensated for by the stabilizing properties of Taxol.
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March 2003

Hypoestoxide, a natural nonmutagenic diterpenoid with antiangiogenic and antitumor activity: possible mechanisms of action.

Cancer Res 2002 Jul;62(14):4007-14

Immune Modulation, Inc. and Paraquest, Inc., Bloomington, California 92316, USA.

We have shown previously that hypoestoxide (HE), a natural diterpenoid [a bicyclo (9, 3, 1) pentadecane], is a potent nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. In this report, we demonstrate that HE also inhibits the growth of a variety of human and murine tumor cell lines in vitro at concentrations ranging from 0.3 to 10 microM and was inactive as a mutagen in the Ames test. HE exhibited highly potent (0.3-10 mg/kg dose ranges) activities against B16 melanoma growth in C57BL/6 mice and P388D1 leukemia in C57BL/6 x DBA/2 F(1) mice, respectively. At a low maximal effective dose of 5 mg/kg, HE induced significant in vivo antitumor activities that were better than or comparable with most of the standard chemotherapeutic antiangiogenic agents tested: cortisone acetate, vincristine, bleomycin, Adriamycin, 5-fluorouracil, cyclophosphamide, and etoposide. All of the agents, except vincristine, had much higher maximal effective doses than HE. HE arrested the growth of human Burkitt lymphoma CA46 cells and HeLa (cervical epitheloid carcinoma) cells in the G2-M phase of the cell cycle, which was caused by interference, either direct or indirect, with actin assembly. Thus, the cell cycle arrest occurred at cytokinesis, as demonstrated by an increase in the number of binucleate cells. Moreover, HE inhibited vascular endothelial growth factor-induced cell proliferation in vitro, with an IC(50) of 28.6 microM, and it significantly inhibited basic fibroblast growth factor-induced angiogenesis on the chick chorioallantoic membrane, with an IC50 of 10 microM. Furthermore, HE inhibited endothelial cell migration on vitronectin, collagen, and fibronectin. Besides its activity as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, HE also has promise for the chemotherapy of cancer.
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July 2002

Structure and absolute stereochemistry of hectochlorin, a potent stimulator of actin assembly.

J Nat Prod 2002 Jun;65(6):866-71

College of Pharmacy, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331, USA.

Hectochlorin (1) was isolated from marine isolates of Lyngbya majuscula collected from Hector Bay, Jamaica, and Boca del Drago Beach, Bocas del Toro, Panama. The planar structure was deduced by one- and two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy. X-ray crystallography was used to determine the absolute stereochemistry of hectochlorin as 2S,3S,14S,22S. Hectochlorin is equipotent to jasplakinolide (5) in its ability to promote actin polymerization, but unlike jasplakinolide, is unable to displace a fluorescent phalloidin analogue from polymerized actin. In addition, hectochlorin shows both a unique profile of cytotoxicity by the COMPARE algorithm and potent inhibitory activity toward the fungus Candida albicans. Structurally, hectochlorin resembles dolabellin and the recently reported lyngbyabellin class of compounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/np0106283DOI Listing
June 2002
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