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Haematologica. 2010 Jan;95(1):71-8. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2009.009811. Epub 2009 Jul 31.

Targeting C-type lectin-like molecule-1 for antibody-mediated immunotherapy in acute myeloid leukemia.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Pathology, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA.



C-type lectin-like molecule-1 is a transmembrane receptor expressed on myeloid cells, acute myeloid leukemia blasts and leukemic stem cells. To validate the potential of this receptor as a therapeutic target in acute myeloid leukemia, we generated a series of monoclonal antibodies against the extracellular domain of C-type lectin-like molecule-1 and used them to extend the expression profile analysis of acute myeloid leukemia cells and to select cytotoxic monoclonal antibodies against acute myeloid leukemia cells in preclinical models.


C-type lectin-like molecule-1 expression was analyzed in acute myeloid leukemia cell lines, and in myeloid derived cells from patients with acute myeloid leukemia and healthy donors. Anti-C-type lectin-like molecule-1 antibody-mediated in vitro cytotoxic activity against acute myeloid leukemia blasts/cell lines and in vivo anti-cancer activity in a mouse xenograft model were assessed. Internalization of C-type lectin-like molecule-1 monoclonal antibodies upon receptor ligation was also investigated.


C-type lectin-like molecule-1 was expressed in 86.5% (45/52) of cases of acute myeloid leukemia, in 54.5% (12/22) of acute myeloid leukemia CD34(+)/CD38(-) stem cells, but not in acute lymphoblastic leukemia blasts (n=5). Selected anti-C-type lectin-like molecule-1 monoclonal antibodies mediated dose-dependent complement-dependent cytotoxicity and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity specifically against acute myeloid leukemia-derived cell lines. Exogenous expression of the transmembrane receptor in HEK293 cells rendered the cells susceptible to antibody-mediated killing by monoclonal antibodies to the receptor. Furthermore, these monoclonal antibodies demonstrated strong complement-dependent cytotoxicity against freshly isolated acute myeloid leukemia blasts (15/16 cases; 94%). The monoclonal antibodies were efficiently internalized upon binding to C-type lectin-like molecule-1 in HL-60 cells. Moreover, a lead chimeric C-type lectin-like molecule-1 monoclonal antibody reduced the tumor size in xenograft mice implanted with HL-60 cells. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that targeting C-type lectin-like molecule-1 with specific cytotoxic monoclonal antibodies is an attractive approach which could lead to novel therapies for acute myeloid leukemia.

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