Author(s): Mone AP, Cheney C, Banks AL, Tridandapani S, Mehter N,
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Abstract Alemtuzumab is a humanized IgG1 kappa antibody directed against CD52, a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol linked cell-membrane protein of unknown function. Herein, we demonstrate that alemtuzumab promotes rapid death of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells in vitro, in a complement and accessory cell free system. Using minimal detergent solubilization of CLL membranes, we found that CD52 colocalizes with ganglioside GM-1, a marker of membrane rafts. Fluorescence microscopy revealed that upon crosslinking CD52 with alemtuzumab+anti-Fc IgG, large patches, and in many cases caps, enriched in CD52 and GM-1 formed upon the CLL cell plasma membrane. Depletion of membrane cholesterol or inhibition of actin polymerization significantly diminished the formation of alemtuzumab-induced caps and reduced alemtuzumab-mediated CLL cell death. We compared alemtuzumab-induced direct cytotoxicity, effector cell-mediated toxicity and complement-mediated cytotoxicity of CLL cells to normal T cells. The direct cytotoxicity and observed capping was significantly greater for CLL cells as compared to normal T cells. Cell-mediated and complement-mediated cytotoxicity did not significantly differ between the two cell types. In summary, our data support the hypothesis that alemtuzumab can initiate CLL cell death by crosslinking CD52-enriched lipid rafts. Furthermore, the differential direct cytotoxic effect suggests that CD52 directed antibodies could possibly be engineered to more specifically target CLL cells.
This article was published in Leukemia
and referenced in Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics