The epothilone binding site in tubulin has been studied by 3D quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) models59 and by electron crystallography, which has allowed to identify a common binding site on tubulin for paclitaxel, epothilone-A, and eleutherobin.60 Prior to these studies, a common pharmacophore had been proposed for the taxanes, the epothilones, and the sarcodictyines.61

3.3. Miscellaneous marine compounds that bind to the taxane site

Eleutherobin is a natural product isolated from an Eleutherobia marine soft coral that is extremely potent for inducing tubulin polymerization in vitro and is cytotoxic in vitro for cancer cells with an IC50 lower than that of paclitaxel.62 The same as paclitaxel, eleutherobin is a substrate for Pgp and both compounds show cross-resistance in MDRl-expressing lines. The related sarcodictyins were also isolated from the mediterranean coral Sarcodictyon roseum and seem more promising than eleutherobin, in spite of their lower activities, because of the MDR sensitivity of the latter.

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