Laulimalide and synthetic laulimalide analogues are synergistic with paclitaxel and 2-methoxyestradiol

Erin A. Clark, Patrice M. Hills, Bradley S. Davidson, Paul A. Wender, Susan L. Mooberry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Some of the most significant therapeutic leads and agents used for the treatment of cancer target microtubule dynamics. Paclitaxel is an exceptional example that is currently used for treating a wide range of tumors. New, non-taxane microtubule stabilizers, including several epothilones, are advancing through clinical trials. Laulimalide is a potent microtubule stabilizer that binds to tubulin at a site that does not overlap the taxane-binding site. It is active against paclitaxel-resistant cancer cells. Notwithstanding its therapeutic potential, laulimalide is relatively unstable, rearranging to a more stable but less active isomer. The goal of this study was to evaluate the ability of laulimalide and two designed laulimalide analogues, C 16-C17-des-epoxy laulimalide (LA1) and Cao-methoxy laulimalide (LA2), to inhibit cell proliferation in combination with other tubulin-binding and non-tubulin-binding antiproliferative antimitotic agents. The synthetic laulimalide analogues retain the mechanism of action of the natural compound but do not share its instability. We studied the ability of the laulimalides to act synergistically with paclitaxel, 2-methoxyestradiol, and monastrol, an Eg5 kinesin inhibitor. The results show that all three of the laulimalides acted synergistically with paclitaxel and 2-methoxyestradiol to inhibit proliferation with the analogues exhibiting significantly larger synergistic effects. The combination of laulimalide and monastrol was not synergistic and provided only additive effects. The laulimalide analogues LA1 and LA2 had a greater degree of synergy with both paclitaxel and 2-methoxyestradiol than was observed with laulimalide. Our results show that the laulimalides together with other tubulin-binding antimitotic agents provide synergistic antiproliferative actions. The data are consistent with the previously reported ability of laulimalide and paclitaxel to act synergistically to polymerize tubulin in vitro. These important findings suggest that specific combinations of microtubule-targeting agents should be considered for clinical utilities as they have excellent potential to improve clinical response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-467
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • 2-methoxyestradiol
  • Drug synergism
  • Laulimalide
  • Microtubule stabilizers
  • Paclitaxel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery


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