Identification of small-molecule inhibitors of interaction between the BH3 domain and Bcl-xL. Academic Article uri icon


  • To study the role of the BH3 domain in mediating pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic activities of Bcl-2 family members, we identified a series of novel small molecules (BH3Is) that inhibit the binding of the Bak BH3 peptide to Bcl-xL. NMR analyses revealed that BH3Is target the BH3-binding pocket of Bcl-xL. Inhibitors specifically block the BH3-domain-mediated heterodimerization between Bcl-2 family members in vitro and in vivo and induce apoptosis. Our results indicate that BH3-dependent heterodimerization is the key function of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members and is required for the maintenance of cellular homeostasis.

publication date

  • February 2001

has subject area