Effects of anti-CD44 monoclonal antibodies on differentiation and apoptosis of human myeloid leukemia cell lines

Rachida Sihem Charrad, Zeineb Gadhoum, Junyuan Qi, Anne Glachant, Michèle Allouche, Claude Jasmin, Christine Chomienne, Florence Smadja-Joffe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a heterogeneous leukemia characterized by the blockage of myeloid differentiation at different stages, which define distinct AML subtypes. We have recently reported that the ligation of CD44 with 2 activating monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), A3D8 and H90, triggers terminal differentiation of leukemic blasts in AML-M1/2 to AML-M5 subtypes, which are the most frequent ones. However, fresh AML blasts have short invitro lifespans. Therefore, to find relevant in vitro cellular models for further studying the mechanisms involved in CD44-induced differentiation, we investigated whether CD44 ligation with A3D8 and H90 mAbs can induce terminal differentiation of THP-1, NB4, and HL60 cells, each interesting models of AML-M5 (monoblastic subtype), AML-M3 (promyelocytic subtype), and AML-M2(myeloblastic subtype), respectively. We also study whether CD44 ligation induces a loss of proliferative capacity, an important feature of late-stagemyeloid differentiation. In the second part of our study, we investigated whether A3D8 and H90 anti-CD44 mAbs can induce the differentiation and inhibit the proliferation of KG1a cells, which are very immature AML-M0 blasts. Using functional, antigenic, and cytologic criteria, we presently show that A3D8 and/or H90 induce terminal differentiation of THP-1, HL60, and NB4 cell lines and strongly inhibit their proliferation. Interestingly, cell specific effects of H90 and A3D8 are observed. We also observe that incubation with A3D8 for 3 to 6 days induces an apoptotic cell death that is moderate in the case of THP-1 and HL60 cells and massive in the case of NB4 cells. Finally, our results demonstrate for the first time that it is possible to reverse the leukemic blockage of KG1a cells by using both an anti-CD44 mAb and retinoic acid. This result may provide a new experimental basis for a differentiative therapy in AML-M0 patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-299
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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