A sensitive assay for the detection of microtubule-stabilizing agents  was used to screen an extensive collection of cyanobacterial and microalgal extracts. The hydrophilic extract of the cyanobacterium, Plectonema radiosum (UH isolate IC-70-1), exhibited microtubule-stabilizing activity. Bioassay-directed purification of the active compound yielded tubercidin (7-deazaadenosine), a potent cytotoxic nucleoside analog. Further studies revealed that tubercidin protected a population of cellular microtubules against vinblastine-induced depolymerization, a microtubule-stabilizing, taxol-like effect. The microtubule-stabilizing effect of tubercidin is dose dependent and limited by the cytotoxicity of the agent. Tubercidin represents another natural product that interacts with microtubules and is one of the few to cause microtubule stabilization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research