The tubulysin analogue KEMTUB10 induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells via p53, Bim and Bcl-2

Oluwafunmilayo Lamidi, Monica Sani, Paolo Lazzari, Matteo Zanda, Ian Neil Fleming

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Tubulysins are natural tetrapeptides that inhibit tubulin polymerisation. Tubulysins are very potent inhibitors of mammalian cancer cell growth, but restricted availability has limited their characterisation and development as anti-cancer compounds. KEMTUB10 was recently developed as a synthetic analogue of natural tubulysins.

The cell cytotoxicity of KEMTUB10 was studied in cell lines that represent the main breast cancer sub-types. The KEMTUB10 pro-apoptotic mechanism of action was studied in MCF7 and MDAMB231 cells.

KEMTUB10 exerts a potent cytotoxic effect in cells representing the main breast cancer sub-types. KEMTUB10 blocks cells in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle and is a strong stimulator of apoptosis/cell death. KEMTUB10-induced apoptosis involves p53 and Bim, and to some extent Bcl-2 phosphorylation.

KEMTUB10 is a promising new anti-mitotic that exerts a potent cytotoxic effect in breast cancer cells, blocks cells in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle and stimulates apoptosis/cell death. KEMTUB10 has a distinct mode of action to taxol, appears to be sensitive to different molecular factors in cells and is likely subject to different mechanisms of acquired resistance. KEMTUB10 has the potential to be an important addition to the anti-cancer therapeutic armoury.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1575-1583
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
Issue number9
Early online date30 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015



  • breast cancer
  • tubulysin
  • anti-mitotic
  • apoptosis
  • p53
  • Bcl-2

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