Background: Anti-apoptotic protein BCL-XL plays a vital role in tumorigenesis and
cancer chemotherapy resistance, resulting in a good target for cancer treatment. Understanding the
function of BCL-XL has driven the progression of a new class of cancer drugs that can mimic its
natural inhibitors, BH3-only proteins, to trigger apoptosis. This mimicking is initiated through acetogenins
due to their excellent biological properties. Acetogenins, which can be isolated from Annonaceae
plants, have a unique structure along with several oxygenated functionalities.
Objective: Based on their biological capability, various acetogenins were studied in the present
study and compared alongside ABT-737 on molecular docking.
Methods: The docking simulation of acetogenins was performed using AutoDock Vina software.
Results: Our findings have shown eleven acetogenins-BCL-XL protein complex, namely, muricin
B (2), muricin F (4), muricin H (6), muricin I (7), xylomaticin (9), annomontacin (12), annonacin
(14), squamocin (15), squamostatin A (16), bullatacin (20) and annoreticulin (21) exhibited strong
binding affinities lower than – 10.4 kcalmol-1 as compared to ABT-373-BCL-XL complex. Six hydrogen
bonds along with hydrophobic interaction were detected on the complex of BCL-XL with
muricin B (2), muricin G (5), corossolone (11), and isoannonacin-10-one A (18).
Conclusion: These findings indicated that some acetogenins could represent a new potential BCLXL
inhibitor that could mimic the BH3-only protein for the induction of apoptosis in cancer chemotherapy.