American Chemical Society
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Effect of Colchicine Binding Site Inhibitors on the Tubulin Intersubunit Interaction

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-04, 00:20 authored by Arsen Sargsyan, Harutyun Sahakyan, Karen Nazaryan
Microtubules are dynamic, non-covalent polymers consisting of α- and β-tubulin subunits that are involved in a wide range of intracellular processes. The polymerization and dynamics of microtubules are regulated by many factors, including small molecules that interact with different sites on the tubulin dimer. Colchicine binding site inhibitors (CBSIs) destabilize microtubules and inhibit tubulin polymerization, leading to cell cycle arrest. Because of their therapeutic potential, the molecular mechanism of CBSI function is an area of active research. Nevertheless, important details of this mechanism have yet to be resolved. In this study, we use atomistic molecular dynamics simulations to show that the binding of CBSIs to the tubulin heterodimer leads to the weakening of tubulin intersubunit interaction. Using atomistic molecular dynamics simulations and binding free energy calculations, we show that CBSIs act as protein–protein interaction inhibitors and destabilize interlinkage between α and β subunits, which is crucial for longitudinal contacts in the microtubule lattice. Our results offer new insight into the mechanisms of microtubule polymerization inhibition by colchicine and its analogs.