Identification of pyrrolopyrimidine derivative PP-13 as a novel microtubule-destabilizing agent with promising anticancer properties
AbstractDespite the emergence of targeted therapies and immunotherapy, chemotherapy remains the gold-standard for the treatment of most patients with solid malignancies. Spindle poisons that interfere with microtubule dynamics are commonly used in chemotherapy drug combinations. However, their troublesome side effects and the emergence of chemoresistance highlight the need for identifying alternative agents. We performed a high throughput cell-based screening and selected a pyrrolopyrimidine molecule (named PP-13). In the present study, we evaluated its anticancer properties in vitro and in vivo. We showed that PP-13 exerted cytotoxic effects on various cancer cells, including those resistant to current targeted therapies and chemotherapies. PP-13 induced a transient mitotic blockade by interfering with both mitotic spindle organization and microtubule dynamics and finally led to mitotic slippage, aneuploidy and direct apoptotic death. PP-13 was identified as a microtubule-targeting agent that binds directly to the colchicine site in β-tubulin. Interestingly, PP-13 overcame the multidrug-resistant cancer cell phenotype and significantly reduced tumour growth and metastatic invasiveness without any noticeable toxicity for the chicken embryo in vivo. Overall, PP-13 appears to be a novel synthetic microtubule inhibitor with interesting anticancer properties and could be further investigated as a potent alternative for the management of malignancies including chemoresistant ones.