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Biochemistry. 1998 Dec 8;37(49):17157-62.

IKP104-induced decay of tubulin: role of the A-ring binding site of colchicine.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio 78284, USA.


Tubulin, the major subunit protein of microtubules, has a tendency to lose its ability to assemble or to interact with ligands in a time-dependent process known as decay. Decay involves the increase in exposure of sulfhydryl groups and hydrophobic areas. The antimitotic drug IKP104 [2-(4-fluorophenyl)-1-(2-chloro-3, 5-dimethoxyphenyl)-3-methyl-6-phenyl-4(1H)-pyridinone] accelerates the decay of tubulin [Ludueña et al. (1995) Biochemistry 34, 15751-15759]. In the presence of colchicine, however, IKP104 stabilizes tubulin against decay. We have shown that the stability and the acceleration of the decay of tubulin are mediated respectively by the high- and low-affinity binding site(s) of IKP104 [Chaudhuri et al. (1998) J. Protein Chem. 17, 303-309]. To better understand the mechanism by which colchicine protects tubulin from IKP104-induced decay, we examined the effect of colchicine and its analogues on this process. We found that IKP104 unfolds tubulin in a process involving a specific domain where colchicine interacts, although the binding sites of these two drugs are distinctly different. 2-Methoxy-5-(2',3',4'-trimethoxyphenyl) tropolone (MTPT), the bicyclic analogue of colchicine that lacks the B-ring, can also protect tubulin from IKP104-induced decay. An A-ring analogue of colchicine, 3,4,5-trimethoxybenzaldehyde (TMB), can also stop IKP104-induced unfolding of tubulin significantly. Interestingly, the C-ring analogue of colchicine, tropolone methyl ether (TME), does not prevent this process. Our results thus suggest that neither the B-ring nor the C-ring binding regions of colchicine are involved in the IKP104-induced decay and that the A-ring binding site of colchicine on tubulin plays a crucial role in IKP104-induced decay.

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