Journal of Medicinal Chemistry vol:59 issue:19 pages:8685-8711
The unique characteristics of the tumor vasculature offer the possibility to selectively target tumor growth and vascularization using tubulin-destabilizing agents. Evidence accumulated with combretastatin A-4 (CA-4) and its prodrug CA-4P support the therapeutic value of compounds sharing this mechanism of action. However, the chemical instability and poor solubility of CA-4 demand alternative compounds that are able to surmount these limitations. This Perspective illustrates the different classes of compounds that behave similar to CA-4, analyzes their binding mode to αβ-tubulin according to recently available structural complexes, and includes described approaches to improve their delivery. In addition, dissecting the mechanism of action of CA-4 and analogues allows a closer insight into the advantages and drawbacks associated with these tubulin-destabilizing agents that behave as vascular disrupting agents (VDAs).