Targeting cell-bound MUC1 on myelomonocytic, monocytic leukemias and phenotypically defined leukemic stem cells with anti-SEA module antibodies

Thierry Guillaume*, Virginie Dehame, Patrice Chevallier, Pierre Peterlin, Alice Garnier, Marc Grégoire, Edward Pichinuk, Daniel B. Rubinstein, Daniel H. Wreschner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Cell surface molecules aberrantly expressed or overexpressed by myeloid leukemic cells represent potential disease-specific therapeutic targets for antibodies. MUC1 is a polymorphic glycoprotein, the cleavage of which yields two unequal chains: a large extracellular α subunit containing a tandem repeat array bound in a strong noncovalent interaction to a smaller β subunit containing the transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains. Because the α-chain can be released from the cell-bound domains of MUC1, agents directed against the α-chain will not effectively target MUC1 + cells. The MUC1 SEA (a highly conserved protein module so called from its initial identification in a sea urchin sperm protein, in enterokinase, and in agrin) domain formed by the binding of the α and β chains represents a stable structure fixed to the cell surface at all times. DMB-5F3, a partially humanized murine anti-MUC1 SEA domain monoclonal antibody, was used to examine MUC1 expression in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and was found to bind acute myelomonocytic and monocytic leukemia (AML-M4 and AML-M5) cell lines. We also examined monocytic neoplasms freshly obtained from patients including chronic myelomonocytic leukemia and juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia, which were found to uniformly express MUC1. CD34 + /lin /CD38 or CD38 + presumed leukemic stem cell populations from CD34 + AML and CD34 CD38 or CD38 + populations from CD34 AML were also found to express MUC1, although at low percentages. Based on these studies, we generated an anti-MUC1 immunotoxin to directly gauge the cytotoxic efficacy of targeting AML-bound MUC1. Using single-chain DMB-5F3 fused to recombinant gelonin toxin, the degree of AML cytotoxicity was found to correlate with MUC1 expression. Our data support the use of an anti–MUC1 SEA module–drug conjugates to selectively target and inhibit MUC1-expressing myelomonocytic leukemic cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-108
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Hematology
StatePublished - Feb 2019


FundersFunder number
Nantes University Hospital
Tumor Bank


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