Effects of ulapualide A and synthetic macrolide analogues on actin dynamics and gene regulation
Several marine macrolide toxins act as potent and specific actin-severing molecules. Recent elucidation of their stereochemistries and modes of interaction with actin has allowed the syntheses of bioactive analogues. Here we used synthetic analogues in a structure-function analysis of ulapualide A, a trisoxazole-based macrolide. Ulapualide A harboured potent actin-depolymerising activity both in cells and in vitro. Its synthetic diastereoisomer was three orders of magnitude less active than the natural toxin and synthetic macrolide fragments lacked actin-capping/ severing activity altogether. Modulation of serum response factor (SRF)-dependent gene expression, as described for other actin-binding toxins, was also examined. Specific changes in response to ulapualide A were not observed, primarily due to its profound effects on cytoskeletal integrity and cell adhesion. Several synthetic fragments of ulapualide A also had no effect on SRF-dependent gene expression. However, inhibition was observed with a molecule corresponding to the extended aliphatic side chain of halichondramide, a structurally related macrolide. These findings indicate that side-chain derivatives of trisoxazole-based macrolides may serve to uncouple gene-regulatory events from actin dynamics.