Cullin-RING E3 ligases (CRLs) are the largest family of E3 ubiquitin ligases, responsible for about 20% of the protein degradation by the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). Given their vital roles in multiple cellular processes, and over-activation in many human cancers, CRLs are validated as promising targets for anti-cancer therapies. Activation of CRLs requires cullin neddylation, a process catalysed by three neddylation enzymes. Recently, our group established an AlphaScreen-based in vitro cullin neddylation assay and employed it for high-throughput screening to search for small-molecule inhibitors targeting cullin neddylation. During our pilot screen, gossypol, a natural product extracted from cottonseeds, was identified as one of the most potent neddylation inhibitors of cullin-1 and cullin-5. We further demonstrated that gossypol blocks cullin neddylation by binding to cullin-1/-5 to inactivate CRL1/5 ligase activity, leading to accumulation of MCL-1 and NOXA, the substrates of CRL1 and CRL5, respectively. The combination of gossypol and an MCL-1 inhibitor synergistically enhanced the anti-proliferative effect in multiple human cancer cell lines. Our study unveiled a rational combination of two previously known inhibitors of the Bcl-2 family for enhanced anti-cancer efficacy and identified a novel activity of gossypol as an inhibitor of CRL1 and CRL5 E3s, thus providing a new possibility in the development of novel CRL inhibitors for anti-cancer therapy.