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Blood. 1999 Oct 15;94(8):2901-10.

Shiga-like toxin-1 receptor on human breast cancer, lymphoma, and myeloma and absence from CD34(+) hematopoietic stem cells: implications for ex vivo tumor purging and autologous stem cell transplantation.

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Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto and the Ontario Cancer Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The ribosome-inactivating protein, Shiga-like toxin-1 (SLT-1), targets cells that express the glycolipid globotriaosylceramide (CD77) on their surface. CD77 and/or SLT-1 binding was detected by flow cytometry and immunocytochemistry on lymphoma and breast cancer cells recovered from biopsies of primary human cancers as well as on B cells or plasma cells present in blood/bone marrow samples of multiple myeloma patients. Breast cancer cell lines also expressed receptors for the toxin and were sensitive to SLT-1. Treatment of primary B lymphoma, B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and myeloma B or plasma cells with SLT-1-depleted malignant B cells by 3- to 28-fold, as measured by flow cytometry. Depletion of myeloma plasma cells was confirmed using a cellular limiting dilution assay followed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analysis of clonotypic IgH transcripts, which showed a greater than 3 log reduction in clonotypic myeloma cells after SLT-1 treatment. Receptors for the toxin were not detected on human CD34(+) hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPC). HPC were pretreated with a concentration of SLT-1 known to purge primary malignant B cells and cultured for 6 days. The number of HPC was comparable in toxin-treated and untreated cultures. HPC were functionally intact as well. Colony-forming units (CFU) were present at an identical frequency in untreated and SLT-1 pretreated cultures, confirming that CFU escape SLT-1 toxicity. The results suggest the ex vivo use of SLT-1 in purging SLT-1 receptor-expressing malignant cells from autologous stem cell grafts of breast cancer, lymphoma, and myeloma patients.

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