Re-evaluation of the Fijianolide/Laulimalide Chemotype Suggests an Alternate Mechanism of Action for C-15/C-20 Analogs

Joseph D. Morris, Leila Takahashi-Ruiz, Lauren N. Persi, Jonathan C. Summers, Erin P. McCauley, Peter Y.W. Chan, Gabriella Amberchan, Itzel Lizama-Chamu, David A. Coppage, Phillip Crews, April L. Risinger, Tyler A. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Herein, we report on naturally derived microtubule stabilizers with activity against triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) cell lines, including paclitaxel, fijianolide B/laulimalide (3), fijianolide B di-acetate (4), and two new semisynthetic analogs of 3, which include fijianolide J (5) and fijianolide L (6). Similar to paclitaxel, compound 3 demonstrated classic microtubule stabilizing activity with potent (GI50 = 0.7-17 nM) antiproliferative efficacy among the five molecularly distinct TNBC cell lines. Alternatively, compounds 5 or 6, generated from oxidation of C-20 or C-15 and C-20 respectively, resulted in a unique profile with reduced potency (GI50 = 4-9 μM), but improved efficacy in some lines, suggesting a distinct mechanism of action. The C-15, C-20 di-acetate, and dioxo modifications on 4 and 6 resulted in compounds devoid of classic microtubule stabilizing activity in biochemical assays. While 4 also had no detectable effect on cellular microtubules, 6 promoted a reorganization of the cytoskeleton resulting in an accumulation of microtubules at the cell periphery. Compound 5, with a single C-20 oxo substitution, displayed a mixed phenotype, sharing properties of 3 and 6. These results demonstrate the importance of the C-15/C-20 chiral centers, which appear to be required for the potent microtubule stabilizing activity of this chemotype and that oxidation of these sites promotes unanticipated cytoskeletal alterations that are distinct from classic microtubule stabilization, likely through a distinct mechanism of action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8824-8832
Number of pages9
JournalACS Omega
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 15 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Re-evaluation of the Fijianolide/Laulimalide Chemotype Suggests an Alternate Mechanism of Action for C-15/C-20 Analogs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this