Taccalonolide microtubule stabilizers

Jing Li, April L. Risinger, Susan L. Mooberry

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


This review focuses on a relatively new class of microtubule stabilizers, the taccalonolides. The taccalonolides are highly oxygenated pentacyclic steroids isolated from plants of the genus Tacca. Originally identified in a cell-based phenotypic screen, the taccalonolides have many properties similar to other microtubule stabilizers. They increase the density of interphase microtubules, causing microtubule bundling, and form abnormal multi-polar mitotic spindles leading to mitotic arrest and, ultimately, apoptosis. However, the taccalonolides differ from other microtubule stabilizers in that they retain efficacy in taxane resistant cell lines and in vivo models. Binding studies with the newly identified, potent taccalonolide AJ demonstrated covalent binding to β-tubulin at or near the luminal and/or pore taxane binding site(s) which stabilizes microtubule protofilaments in a unique manner as compared to other microtubule stabilizers. The isolation and semi-synthesis of 21 taccalonolides helped to identify key structure activity relationships and the importance of multiple regions across the taccalonolide skeleton for optimal biological potency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5091-5096
Number of pages6
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 15 2015


  • Laulimalide
  • Microtubule
  • Microtubule stabilizer
  • Paclitaxel
  • Tacca
  • Taccalonolide
  • Taxol
  • Tubulin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry


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