Video_1_In silico Investigations of the Mode of Action of Novel Colchicine Derivatives Targeting β-Tubulin Isotypes: A Search for a Selective and Specific β-III Tubulin Ligand.MP4

The cardinal role of microtubules in cell mitosis makes them interesting drug targets for many pharmacological treatments, including those against cancer. Moreover, different expression patterns between cell types for several tubulin isotypes represent a great opportunity to improve the selectivity and specificity of the employed drugs and to design novel compounds with higher activity only on cells of interest. In this context, tubulin isotype βIII represents an excellent target for anti-tumoral therapies since it is overexpressed in most cancer cells and correlated with drug resistance. Colchicine is a well-known antimitotic agent, which is able to bind the tubulin dimer and to halt the mitotic process. However, it shows high toxicity also on normal cells and it is not specific for isotype βIII. In this context, the search for colchicine derivatives is a matter of great importance in cancer research. In this study, homology modeling techniques, molecular docking, and molecular dynamics simulations have been employed to characterize the interaction between 55 new promising colchicine derivatives and tubulin isotype βIII. These compounds were screened and ranked based on their binding affinity and conformational stability in the colchicine binding site of tubulin βIII. Results from this study point the attention on an amide of 4-chlorine thiocolchicine. This colchicine-derivative is characterized by a unique mode of interaction with tubulin, compared to all other compounds considered, which is primarily characterized by the involvement of the α-T5 loop, a key player in the colchicine binding site. Information provided by the present study may be particularly important in the rational design of colchicine-derivatives targeting drug resistant cancer phenotypes.