Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Jun 20;97(13):7124-9.

Structure-based discovery of an organic compound that binds Bcl-2 protein and induces apoptosis of tumor cells.

Author information

  • 1Kimmel Cancer Center, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.


Bcl-2 and related proteins are key regulators of apoptosis or programmed cell death implicated in human disease including cancer. We recently showed that cell-permeable Bcl-2 binding peptides could induce apoptosis of human myeloid leukemia in vitro and suppress its growth in severe combined immunodeficient mice. Here we report the discovery of HA14-1, a small molecule (molecular weight = 409) and nonpeptidic ligand of a Bcl-2 surface pocket, by using a computer screening strategy based on the predicted structure of Bcl-2 protein. In vitro binding studies demonstrated the interaction of HA14-1 with this Bcl-2 surface pocket that is essential for Bcl-2 biological function. HA14-1 effectively induced apoptosis of human acute myeloid leukemia (HL-60) cells overexpressing Bcl-2 protein that was associated with the decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential and activation of caspase-9 followed by caspase-3. Cytokine response modifier A, a potent inhibitor of Fas-mediated apoptosis, did not block apoptosis induced by HA14-1. Whereas HA14-1 strongly induced the death of NIH 3T3 (Apaf-1(+/+)) cells, it had little apoptotic effect on Apaf-1-deficient (Apaf-1(-/-)) mouse embryonic fibroblast cells. These data are consistent with a mechanism by which HA14-1 induces the activation of Apaf-1 and caspases, possibly by binding to Bcl-2 protein and inhibiting its function. The discovery of this cell-permeable molecule provides a chemical probe to study Bcl-2-regulated apoptotic pathways in vivo and could lead to the development of new therapeutic agents.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk