Recent advances in combretastatin based derivatives and prodrugs as antimitotic agents
The dynamic and crucial role of tubulin in different cellular functions rendered it a promising target in anticancer drug development. Combretastatin A-4 (CA-4), an inhibitor of tubulin polymerization isolated from natural sources, is a lead molecule with significant cytotoxicity against tumour cells. Owing to its non polar nature it exhibits low solubility in natural biological fluids, thereby prompting the development of new CA-4 based derivatives. The modification of this lead molecule was mostly carried out by keeping the crucial cis-orientation of the double bond intact, along with a trimethoxyphenyl aromatic ring, by employing different approaches. The issue of solubility was also addressed by the development of water soluble prodrugs of CA-4. The present review highlights the investigations into the parallel development of both new CA-4 based derivatives and prodrugs in the past few years.