1. Molecular Docking of Cryptoconcatones to α-Tubulin and Related Pironetin Analogues
Gérard Vergoten, Christian Bailly Plants (Basel). 2023 Jan 8;12(2):296. doi: 10.3390/plants12020296.
Cryptoconcatones A-L represent a series of 12 dihydropyrone derivatives isolated from the evergreen tree Cryptocarya concinna Hance, which is well distributed in southeast Asia. The lead compound in the series, cryptoconcatone L, has revealed antiproliferative activity against cultured cancer cells but its mechanism of action remains unknown. Based on a structural analogy with the anticancer natural product pironetin, which is well known for binding covalently to α-tubulin and for functioning as a microtubule polymerization inhibitor, we investigated the interaction of cryptoconcatones with tubulin dimers using molecular docking. The α-tubulin binding capacity of each compound was quantified (through calculation of the empirical energy of interaction ΔE) and structure-binding relationships were delineated. Two compounds were found to interact with α-tubulin much more potently than pironetin: cryptoconcatones F and L. In both cases, the facile formation of a covalent bond with Cys316 was evidenced, as observed with the parent compound pironetin. A few other pironetin analogues were investigated, including spicigerolide, which is an analogue of another known α-tubulin binder. Altogether, this study points to the identification of a series of 5,6-dihydro-α-pyrones as α-tubulin-binding agents. The study contributes to a better understanding of the mechanism of action of cryptoconcatones and should help the design of analogues targeting the pironetin site of α-tubulin.
2. Identification of the Metabolic Profile of the α-Tubulin-Binding Natural Product (-)-Pironetin
Sara K Coulup, David S Huang, Henry L Wong, Gunda I Georg J Med Chem. 2019 Feb 14;62(3):1684-1689. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.8b01774. Epub 2019 Jan 29.
Pironetin, the only crystallographically confirmed natural product to target α-tubulin, displays potent cytotoxic activity against sensitive and resistant A2780 ovarian cancer cell lines but is only marginally active in vivo. We now report that pironetin has a short half-life (<7 min) in human liver microsomes, suggesting that its limited in vivo efficacy is due to rapid metabolism. Further, we describe the discovery of epoxypironetin as pironetin's major metabolite in human liver microsomes.
3. Cytotoxicity of phenylpironetin analogs and the metabolic fate of pironetin and phenylpironetin
Md Abdullah Al Noman, David S Huang, Sara K Coulup, Shameem Sultana Syeda, Henry, L Wong, Gunda I Georg Bioorg Chem. 2022 Aug;125:105915. doi: 10.1016/j.bioorg.2022.105915. Epub 2022 May 27.
To improve pironetin's metabolic stability we prepared four analogs by replacing its C12-14 segment with an aryl group. The antiproliferative activity of phenyl analog 4 was reduced two-fold and dihydroxy-4-fluorophenyl analog 5 was slightly more effective against OVCAR5 and A2780 ovarian cancer cell lines compared with the parent compound pironetin (1). The activity of 4-fluorophenyl analog 6 was reduced 3-fold in both cell lines. The activity of 7-O-methyl analog 7 was reduced 36-fold in OVCAR5 cells and 47-fold and A2780 cells, compared with pironetin. Phenylpironetin (4) was rapidly metabolized by mouse and human liver microsomes. We identified 17 human metabolites for phenyl analog 4 and 14 human metabolites for pironetin. Metabolism occurred at the C12-13 moiety, the α,β-unsaturated lactone and the side chains of the molecules (C6-C11 segments). The significant extent of oxidative metabolism suggests that it may not be possible to attain a metabolically stable pironetin analog by structural modifications of the parent compound.