Elimination of Clonogenic T-Leukemic Cells from Human Bone Marrow Using Anti-Mr 65,000 Protein Immunotoxins

Robin C. Stong, Daniel A. Vallera, Richard J. Youle

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25 Scopus citations


Two anti-Mr 65,000 protein (p65) murine monoclonal antibodies, T101 and VIII-1, were conjugated to intact ricin. oxicity of the resulting immunotoxins (IT) was measured against leukemic cell lines treated alone and in the presence of excess bone marrow using a highly sensitive colony inhibition assay. Cells were pretreated with IT in the presence of lactose to block the native binding of ricin.The IT proved to be potent cytotoxins for the p65-positive cell lines, CEM and MOLT-4. Treatment with T101-ricin (1000 ng/ml) inhibited clonogenic activity of these lines by more than 5.1 logs. Less than 1 log of the inhibition at this dose was due to nonspecific killing by IT. Notably, the presence of excess bone marrow did not reduce IT toxicity against the leukemic populations. Comparison of IT concentrations which inhibited 50% of clonogenic activity showed that T101-ricin was 140- to 540-fold and VIII-1-ricin was 12- to 192-fold more toxic to p65-positive than to p65-negative cell lines. Neither unconjugated anti-p65 nor IT prepared with an irrelevant antibody inhibited clonogenic activity. Blocking of IT toxidty by unconjugated antibody further demonstrated that the antibody moiety of the IT directed the selective toxidty. We found that T101-ricin was more toxic for CEM cells than was VIII-1-ricin, even though blocking studies indicated that the two antibodies bind to proximal or identical epitopes. This report is unique in that an IT was shown to specifically eliminate greater than 99.99% of leukemic cells from human bone marrow. These findings indicate the utility of T101 -ricin as an in vitro reagent for autologous bone marrow transplantation in treatment of T-cell leukemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3000-3006
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 1984


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