Preparation of Fluorescent Tubulin Binders



Invited for this month’s cover are the groups of Prof. Daniele Passarella, Prof. Graziella Cappelletti, Dr. Stephen Faulkner and Prof. John S. Snaith based at the Universities of Milano, Oxford and Birmingham. The image shows that a fluorescent tubulin binder could evidence the tubulin/microtubule network.

Who designed the cover?

Thumbnail image of

Thumbnail image of

Dr. Marco Riccioli designed our cover art. He combines his chemical expertise with great enthusiasm for graphics.

What prompted you to investigate this topic?

Our vision was to obtain new fluorescent dyes that can directly illuminate the tubulin/microtubule network in cells, and to overcome the invasive techniques of transfection or microinjection as well as time-consuming immunofluorescence staining.

How did the collaboration on this project start?

This project began with networking that was facilitated by CM 0602 COST Action (Angiokem), which ended in 2011. Dr. Elena Riva and Dr. Michael S. Christodoulou (Agricultural University of Athens) had financial support for several study missions (STSM) that were carried out at Birmingham and Milan Universities. This field of research continues to be a hot topic within CM 1106 COST Action (Stemchem), the aim of which is to target drug resistance resulting from cancer stem cells.

What other topics are you working on at the moment?

We are studying the synthesis of new anticancer compounds and investigating their potential to throw light on the behaviour of different biological targets. We are also investigating the role of microtubules in neurodegenerative diseases and potential microtubule-targeted therapies.

Read the full text of the article at


We thank European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST), which supports cooperation among scientist and researchers across Europe. In particular, we acknowledge CM 0602 COST Action and the ongoing CM 1106 COST Action (Chemical Approaches to Targeting Drug Resistance Due to Cancer Stem Cells).