Given the pivotal role of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins in cancer cell survival, development of anti-cancer therapeutics targeting the BH3 binding groove of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 proteins has emerged as a promising, but difficult goal. Initial compounds targeted to the structure of Bcl-xL, and thereby able to bind to Bcl-2, Bcl-xL and Bcl-W, have shown promise in the clinic for the treatment of cancer, though studies have discovered that Mcl-1 over-expression allows cancers to evade treatment. To this end, the recent success with stable and cell permeable stapled BH3 peptides targeting Bcl-2 has provided the impetus to identify peptide sequences capable of selectively binding to Mcl-1 which is one major Aim of this proposal. If successful, our studies could result in advanced clinical candidates for the treatment of cancer. To test our hypotheses we will characterize and further determine the structural basis for inhibition, and subsequently we will test the potential anti-cancer activity of the proposed compounds in advanced pharmacological studies in cell and mice models of prostate cancer.

Public Health Relevance

Our studies are aimed at the identification of natural peptide sequences that target selectively an anti-apoptotic protein, Mcl-1, responsible for the onset of progression of most solid tumors. We will first characterize at the molecular level the structural basis for inhibition of Mcl-1, and subsequently we will test the potential anti- cancer activity of the proposed compounds in advanced pharmacological studies in cell and mice models of prostate cancer.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Macromolecular Structure and Function C Study Section (MSFC)
Program Officer
Arya, Suresh
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
La Jolla
United States
Zip Code
Barile, Elisa; Marconi, Guya D; De, Surya K et al. (2017) hBfl-1/hNOXA Interaction Studies Provide New Insights on the Role of Bfl-1 in Cancer Cell Resistance and for the Design of Novel Anticancer Agents. ACS Chem Biol 12:444-455
Kegelman, Timothy P; Wu, Bainan; Das, Swadesh K et al. (2017) Inhibition of radiation-induced glioblastoma invasion by genetic and pharmacological targeting of MDA-9/Syntenin. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 114:370-375
Bottini, Angel; Wu, Bainan; Barile, Elisa et al. (2016) High-Throughput Screening (HTS) by NMR Guided Identification of Novel Agents Targeting the Protein Docking Domain of YopH. ChemMedChem 11:919-27
Nakanishi, Yuki; Reina-Campos, Miguel; Nakanishi, Naoko et al. (2016) Control of Paneth Cell Fate, Intestinal Inflammation, and Tumorigenesis by PKC?/?. Cell Rep 16:3297-3310
Menezes, M E; Das, S K; Minn, I et al. (2016) Detecting Tumor Metastases: The Road to Therapy Starts Here. Adv Cancer Res 132:1-44
Baggio, Carlo; Barile, Elisa; Di Sorbo, Gianluigi et al. (2016) The Cell Surface Receptor CD44: NMR-Based Characterization of Putative Ligands. ChemMedChem 11:1097-106
Menezes, Mitchell E; Shen, Xue-Ning; Das, Swadesh K et al. (2015) MDA-7/IL-24 functions as a tumor suppressor gene in vivo in transgenic mouse models of breast cancer. Oncotarget 6:36928-42
Kegelman, Timothy P; Das, Swadesh K; Emdad, Luni et al. (2015) Targeting tumor invasion: the roles of MDA-9/Syntenin. Expert Opin Ther Targets 19:97-112
Quinn, Bridget A; Lee, Nathaniel A; Kegelman, Timothy P et al. (2015) The Quest for an Effective Treatment for an Intractable Cancer: Established and Novel Therapies for Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma. Adv Cancer Res 127:283-306
Wu, Bainan; Barile, Elisa; De, Surya K et al. (2015) High-Throughput Screening by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (HTS by NMR) for the Identification of PPIs Antagonists. Curr Top Med Chem 15:2032-42

Showing the most recent 10 out of 27 publications