Background. Glioma is sensitive to microtubule-targeting agents (MTAs), but most MTAs do not cross the blood brain barrier (BBB). To address this limitation, we developed the new chemical entity, ST-401, a brain-penetrant MTA. Methods. Synthesis of ST-401. Measures of MT assembly and dynamics. Cell proliferation and viability of patientderived (PD) glioma in culture. Measure of tumor microtube (TM) parameters using immunofluorescence analysis and machine learning-based workflow. Pharmacokinetics (PK) and experimental toxicity in mice. In vivo antitumor activity in the RCAS/tv-a PDGFB-driven glioma (PDGFB-glioma) mouse model. Results. We discovered that ST-401 disrupts microtubule (MT) function through gentle and reverisible reduction in MT assembly that triggers mitotic delay and cell death in interphase. ST-401 inhibits the formation of TMs, MT-rich structures that connect glioma to a network that promotes resistance to DNA damage. PK analysis of ST-401 in mice shows brain penetration reaching antitumor concentrations, and in vivo testing of ST-401 in a xenograft flank tumor mouse model demonstrates significant antitumor activity and no over toxicity in mice. In the PDGFB-glioma mouse model, ST-401 enhances the therapeutic efficacies of temozolomide (TMZ) and radiation therapy (RT). Conclusion. Our study identifies hallmarks of glioma tumorigenesis that are sensitive to MTAs and reports ST-401 as a promising chemical scaffold to develop brain-penetrant MTAs.
- tumor microtubes