Tubulysins are isolated from the culture broth of strains of Archangium gephyra and Angiococcus disciformis, both members of a Gram negative, soil-dwelling group of bacteria known as myxobacteria. The production process has been up-scaled and tubulysin A and B are now produced by EUCODIS Bioscience.
The compounds bind to tubulin, the basic protein of microtubules, which play a structural role in the cell’s cytoskeleton and a functional role in mitosis. Tubulysin binding causes microtubules to depolymerize, leading to break-up of the cytoskeleton and driving the cell into apoptosis.
Tubulysins, and their synthetic derivatives, can be covalently conjugated to a wide variety of carrier molecules including antibodies, peptides or nanoparticles, and thereby offer the potential to target many types of cells and tissues. In certain drug-resistant cell lines, such as resistant ovarian cancer, tubulysin shows a greater potency profile than other toxins.
About Tube Pharmaceuticals GmBH:
Tube Pharmaceuticals GmbH, a Vienna-based start-up formed in 2011, is commercializing a natural products platform having its foundation in the discovery of tubulysin molecules. Tubulysins, microtubule- disrupting agents and their synthetic derivatives, can be covalently conjugated to a wide variety of carrier molecules, and thereby offer the potential to target many types of cells and tissues. Tube is developing a polymer-tubulysin conjugate for solid tumors and has licensed the toxin for use in other conjugate therapeutics to selected partners.