CXI-benzo-84 reversibly binds to tubulin at colchicine site and induces apoptosis in cancer cells

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Abstract

Here, we have discovered CXI-benzo-84 as a potential anticancer agent from a library of benzimidazole derivatives using cell based screening strategy. CXI-benzo-84 inhibited cell cycle progression in metaphase stage of mitosis and accumulated spindle assembly checkpoint proteins Mad2 and BubR1 on kinetochores, which subsequently activated apoptotic cell death in cancer cells. CXI-benzo-84 depolymerized both interphase and mitotic microtubules, perturbed EB1 binding to microtubules and inhibited the assembly and GTPase activity of tubulin in vitro. CXI-benzo-84 bound to tubulin at a single binding site with a dissociation constant of 1.2 ± 0.2 μM. Competition experiments and molecular docking suggested that CXI-benzo-84 binds to tubulin at the colchicine-site. Further, computational analysis provided a significant insight on the binding site of CXI-benzo-84 on tubulin. In addition to its potential use in cancer chemotherapy, CXI-benzo-84 may also be useful to screen colchicine-site agents and to understand the colchicine binding site on tubulin.

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