Cell-based high-throughput screen for small molecule inhibitors of Bax translocation

Kelvin Kai Wan Hui, Chesarahmia Dojo Soeandy, Stephano Chang, Frederick S. Vizeacoumar, Thomas Sun, Alessandro Datti, Jeffrey T. Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aberrant regulation of programmed cell death (PCD) has been tied to an array of human pathologies ranging from cancers to autoimmune disorders to diverse forms of neurodegeneration. Pharmacologic modulation of PCD signalling is therefore of central interest to a number of clinical and biomedical applications. A key component of PCD signalling involves the modulation of pro- and anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members. Among these, Bax translocation represents a critical regulatory phase in PCD. In the present study, we have employed a high-content high-throughput screen to identify small molecules which inhibit the cellular process of Bax re-distribution to the mitochondria following commitment of the cell to die. Screening of 6246 Generally Recognized As Safe compounds from four chemical libraries post-induction of cisplatin-mediated PCD resulted in the identification of 18 compounds which significantly reduced levels of Bax translocation. Further examination revealed protective effects via reduction of executioner caspase activity and enhanced mitochondrial function. Consistent with their effects on Bax translocation, these compounds exhibited significant rescue against in vitro and in vivo cisplatin-induced apoptosis. Altogether, our findings identify a new set of clinically useful small molecules PCD inhibitors and highlight the role which cAMP plays in regulating Bax-mediated PCD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1784-1797
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • apoptosis
  • bax
  • cell-based assay
  • high-throughput screen
  • in vivo
  • programmed cell death inhibitor
  • small molecular inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Cell-based high-throughput screen for small molecule inhibitors of Bax translocation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this