Phomopsin A is an anti-mitotic compound from the fungus Phomopsis leptostromiformis which is a potent inhibitor of microtubule assembly in vitro; like maytansine, it is known to compete with vinblastine for binding to tubulin (E. Lacey, J. A. Edgar, and C. C. J. Culvenor (1987) Biochem. Pharmacol. 36, 2133-2138). A major difference between the effects of maytansine and vinblastine is that vinblastine is a potent inhibitor of tubulin decay, whereas maytansine has little or no effect on decay. Since phomopsin A is structurally distinct from either maytansine or vinblastine, tubulin decay may be measured by either the time-dependent loss of the ability to bind to [3H]colchicine or the time-dependent increase in the binding of bis(8-anilinonaphthalene 1-sulfonate) (BisANS) to tubulin. By either method, phomopsin A was found to be a much stronger inhibitor of tubulin decay than is vinblastine or any other drug yet tested, and, in fact, when decay is measured by the increase of BisANS binding, phomopsin A appears to stop the process entirely. This may prove to be useful in the determination of the higherorder structure of the tubulin molecule.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology