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Biochimica et biophysica acta

The acetylenic tricyclic bis(cyano enone), TBE-31, targets microtubule dynamics and cell polarity in migrating cells.


PMID 26775215

Abstract

Cell migration is dependent on the microtubule network for structural support as well as for the proper delivery and positioning of polarity proteins at the leading edge of migrating cells. Identification of drugs that target cytoskeletal-dependent cell migration and protein transport in polarized migrating cells is important in understanding the cell biology of normal and tumor cells and can lead to new therapeutic targets in disease processes. Here, we show that the tricyclic compound TBE-31 directly binds to tubulin and interferes with microtubule dynamics, as assessed by end binding 1 (EB1) live cell imaging. Interestingly, this interference is independent of in vitro tubulin polymerization. Using immunofluorescence microscopy, we also observed that TBE-31 interferes with the polarity of migratory cells. The polarity proteins Rac1, IQGAP and Tiam1 were localized at the leading edge of DMSO-treated migrating cell, but were observed to be in multiple protrusions around the cell periphery of TBE-31-treated cells. Finally, we observed that TBE-31 inhibits the migration of Rat2 fibroblasts with an IC50 of 0.75 μM. Taken together, our results suggest that the inhibition of cell migration by TBE-31 may result from the improper maintenance of cell polarity of migrating cells.