Translationally Controlled Tumor Protein (TCTP) is anti-apoptotic, key in development and cancer, however without the typical Bcl2 family members' structure. Here we report that TCTP contains a BH3-like domain and forms heterocomplexes with Bcl-xL. The crystal structure of a Bcl-xL deletion variant-TCTP11-31 complex reveals that TCTP refolds in a helical conformation upon binding the BH3-groove of Bcl-xL, although lacking the h1-subregion interaction. Experiments using in vitro-vivo reconstituted systems and TCTP(+/-) mice indicate that TCTP activates the anti-apoptotic function of Bcl-xL, in contrast to all other BH3-proteins. Replacing the non-conserved h1 of TCTP by that of Bax drastically increases the affinity of this hybrid for Bcl-xL, modifying its biological properties. This work reveals a novel class of BH3-proteins potentiating the anti-apoptotic function of Bcl-xL.