Efficacy of a covalent microtubule stabilizer in taxane-resistant ovarian cancer models

Samantha S. Yee, April L. Risinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Ovarian cancer often has a poor clinical prognosis because of late detection, frequently after metastatic progression, as well as acquired resistance to taxane-based therapy. Herein, we evaluate a novel class of covalent microtubule stabilizers, the C-22,23-epoxytaccalonolides, for their efficacy against taxane-resistant ovarian cancer models in vitro and in vivo. Taccalonolide AF, which covalently binds β-tubulin through its C-22,23-epoxide moiety, demonstrates efficacy against taxane-resistant models and shows superior persistence in clonogenic assays after drug washout due to irreversible target engagement. In vivo, intraperitoneal administration of taccalonolide AF demonstrated efficacy against the taxane-resistant NCI/ADR-RES ovarian cancer model both as a flank xenograft, as well as in a disseminated orthotopic disease model representing localized metastasis. Taccalonolide-treated animals had a significant decrease in micrometastasis of NCI/ADR-RES cells to the spleen, as detected by quantitative RT-PCR, without any evidence of systemic toxicity. Together, these findings demonstrate that taccalonolide AF retains efficacy in taxane-resistant ovarian cancer models in vitro and in vivo and that its irreversible mechanism of microtubule stabilization has the unique potential for intraperitoneal treatment of locally disseminated taxane-resistant disease, which represents a significant unmet clinical need in the treatment of ovarian cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4077
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021


  • Anticancer agents
  • Covalent drugs
  • Drug resistance
  • Metastasis
  • Microtubule stabilizers
  • Murine model
  • Natural products
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Taxanes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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