Overexpression of B cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) proteins is associated with therapy resistance in various human cancers. Traditional approaches target the Bcl-2 homology (BH)3 domain of Bcl-2; however, the BH4 domain represents a superior therapeutic target in light of its unique structure and crucial involvement in many cellular functions. In this critical review, we focus on the structural and functional basis of targeting the BH4 domain of Bcl-2, and highlight the recent advances in drug discovery efforts toward small-molecule BH4 domain inhibitors (e.g. BDA-366). The proof-of-concept studies support the hypothesis that targeting the BH4 domain of Bcl-2 holds promise to offer a novel anticancer therapy through the induction of apoptosis and an increased potential to overcome therapeutic resistance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Drug Discovery