Binding and Interaction of Dinitroanilines With Apicomplexan and Kinetoplastid Alpha-Tubulin

J Med Chem. 2006 Aug 24;49(17):5226-31. doi: 10.1021/jm060472+.


Despite years of use as commercial herbicides, it is still unclear how dinitroanilines interact with tubulin, how they cause microtubule disassembly, and why they are selectively active against plant and protozoan tubulin. In this work, through a series of computational studies, a common binding site of oryzalin, trifluralin, and GB-II-5 on apicomplexan and kinetoplastid alpha-tubulin is proposed. Furthermore, to investigate how dinitroanilines affect tubulin dynamics, molecular dynamics simulations of Leishmania alpha-tubulin with and without a bound dinitroaniline are performed. The results obtained provide insight into the molecular mechanism by which these compounds interact with tubulin and function to prevent microtubule assembly. Finally, to aid in the design of effective parasitic microtubule inhibitors, several novel dinitroaniline analogues are evaluated. The location of the binding site and the relative binding affinities of the dinitroanilines all agree well with experimental data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aniline Compounds / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Apicomplexa / chemistry*
  • Binding Sites
  • Binding, Competitive
  • Dinitrobenzenes / chemistry*
  • Kinetoplastida / chemistry*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Sulfanilamides / chemistry*
  • Trifluralin / chemistry*
  • Tubulin / chemistry*
  • Tubulin / metabolism


  • Aniline Compounds
  • Dinitrobenzenes
  • N1-phenyl-3,5-dinitro-N4,N4-di-n-propylsulfanilamide
  • Sulfanilamides
  • Tubulin
  • oryzalin
  • Trifluralin