A series of stilbenes, based on combretastatin A-4, were synthesised. A structure-activity study was carried out to characterise the interaction of these agents with tubulin. The substitution of small alkyl substituents for the 4'-methoxy group of combretastatin A-4 and the loss of the 3'-hydroxyl group does not have a major effect on the interaction with tubulin. trans-Stilbenes were shown to bind tubulin, but do not inhibit microtubule assembly. This work, together with previous studies, has been used to propose an idealised structure for a tubulin-binding agent of this type.
Woods, J. A., Hadfield, J. A., Pettit, G. R., Fox, B. W., & McGown, A. T. (1995). The interaction with tubulin of a series of stilbenes based on combretastatin A-4. British Journal of Cancer, 71(4), 705-11. https://doi.org/10.1038/bjc.1995.138