Crystal Structures of Anti-apoptotic BFL-1 and Its Complex with a Covalent Stapled Peptide Inhibitor.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Structure, Volume 26, Issue 1, p.153-160.e4 (2018)


<p>BCL-2 family proteins are high-priority cancer targets whose structures provide essential blueprints for drug design. Whereas numerous structures of anti-apoptotic BCL-2 protein complexes with α-helical BH3 peptides have been reported, the corresponding panel of apo structures remains incomplete. Here, we report the crystal structure of apo&nbsp;BFL-1 at 1.69-Å resolution, revealing similarities&nbsp;and key differences among unliganded anti-apoptotic proteins. Unlike all other BCL-2 proteins, apo BFL-1 contains a surface-accessible cysteine within its BH3-binding groove, allowing for selective covalent targeting by a NOXA BH3-based stapled peptide inhibitor. The crystal structure of this complex demonstrated the sulfhydryl bond and fortuitous interactions between the acrylamide-bearing moiety and a newly formed hydrophobic cavity. Comparison of the apo and BH3-liganded structures further revealed an induced conformational change. The two BFL-1 structures expand our understanding of the surface landscapes available for therapeutic targeting so that the apoptotic blockades of BFL-1-dependent cancers can be overcome.</p>

5WHI (apo BFL-1) and 5WHH (BFL-1/D-NA NOXA SAHB)