Pifithrin-μ is an inhibitor of p53 binding and anti-apoptotic, which directly inhibits p53 binding to mitochondria as well as to Bcl-xL and Bcl-2 proteins. PFTμ rescues cells from lethal γ-irradiation-induced cell death. Because pifithrin-μ shuts down only the p53-mitochondrial pathway without affecting the transcriptional functions of p53, it is superior to pifithrin-α.
Pifithrin-μ(PFT-μ) has neuroprotective capabilities against cell death in a preclinical model of hypoxia-ischemia (HI)-induced neonatal encephalopathy. It inhibits nuclear factor-ΙB (NF-ΙB) pathway by inhibiting the interaction of molecular chaperone heat shock protein (HSP)-70 with its substrates.