Myeloid cell leukemia 1 (Mcl-1) is an antiapoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family of proteins that when overexpressed is associated with high tumor grade, poor survival, and resistance to chemotherapy. Mcl-1 is amplified in many human cancers, and knockdown of Mcl-1 using RNAi can lead to apoptosis. Thus, Mcl-1 is a promising cancer target. Here, we describe the discovery of picomolar Mcl-1 inhibitors that cause caspase activation, mitochondrial depolarization, and selective growth inhibition. These compounds represent valuable tools to study the role of Mcl-1 in cancer and serve as useful starting points for the discovery of clinically useful Mcl-1 inhibitors.
Pdb id codes: Comp. 2: 5IEZ; Comp. 5: 5IF4.
Keywords: apoptosis; cancer; drug discovery; myeloid cell leukemia 1; structure-based drug design.
© 2016 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.