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Our work has led to the identification of three novel BH4 mimetics, SM216, SM396, and SM949, with nanomolar activities both in vitro and in vivo assays. SM396 binds covalently to the BH4 domain of BCL-2 while the compounds SM216 and SM949 are non-covalent BH4 binders. Our results illustrate that these compounds are highly specific to the triple-negative breast cancer cells with no effect on normal cells. Elevated levels of Cyt-c induced by these compounds suggest significant inhibition of BCL-2 leading to apoptosis. Further investigations of these potent lead compounds will lead to clinical translations in targeting challenging tumor types.

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