Cevipabulin-tubulin complex reveals a novel agent binding site on α-tubulin and provides insights into microtubule dynamic instability
Posted 11 Sep 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.09.11.293563
Posted 11 Sep 2020
Microtubule, composed of αβ-tubulin heterodimers, remains as one of the most popular anticancer targets for decades. To date, anti-microtubule drugs mainly target β-tubulin to inhibit microtubule dynamic instability (MDI) while agents binding to α-tubulin are less well characterized and also the molecular mechanism of MDI is far from being articulated. Cevipabulin, an oral microtubule-active antitumor clinical candidate, is widely accepted as a microtubule stabilizing agent (MSA) but binds to the microtubule-destabilization vinblastine site on β-tubulin and this unusual phenomenon has so far failed to be explained. Our X-ray crystallography study reveals that, in addition binding to the vinblastine site, cevipabulin also binds to a novel site on α-tubulin (named the seventh site) which located at the region spatially corresponding to the vinblastine site on β-tubulin. Interestingly, cevipabulin exhibits two unique site-dependent functions. Cevipabulin binding to the seventh site promotes tubulin degradation through interaction of the non-exchengeable GTP to reduce tubulin stability. Cevipabulin binding to the vinblastine site enhances longitudinal interactions but inhibits lateral interactions of tubulins, thus inducing tubulin protofilament polymerization (but not microtubule polymerization like MSAs), and then tangling into irregular tubulin aggregates. Importantly, the tubulin-cevipabulin structure is an intermediate between “bent” and “straight” tubulins and the involved bent-to-straight conformation change will be helpful to fully understand the molecular mechanism of tubulin assembly. Our findings confirm cevipabulin is not an MSA and shed light on the development of a new generation of anti-microtubule drugs targeting the novel site on α-tubulin and also provide new insights into MDI. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
- Downloaded 311 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 97,591
- In cell biology: 4,488
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 36,398
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: None
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 27 Nov 2020: The website and API now include results pulled from medRxiv as well as bioRxiv.
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!