A Novel Anti-LILRB4 CAR-T Cell for the Treatment of Monocytic AML

Samuel John, Heyu Chen, Mi Deng Ph.D., Xun Gui, Guojin Wu, Weina Chen, Zunling Li, Ningyan Zhang, Zhiqiang An, Chengcheng Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


To effectively improve treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), new molecular targets and therapeutic approaches need to be identified. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-modified T cells targeting tumor-associated antigens have shown promise in the treatment of some malignancies. However, CAR-T cell development for AML has been limited by lack of an antigen with high specificity for AML cells that is not present on normal hematopoietic stem cells, and thus will not result in myelotoxicity. Here we demonstrate that leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptor-B4 (LILRB4) is a tumor-associated antigen highly expressed on monocytic AML cells. We generated a novel anti-LILRB4 CAR-T cell that displays high antigen affinity and specificity. These CAR-T cells display efficient effector function in vitro and in vivo against LILRB4+ AML cells. Furthermore, we demonstrate anti-LILRB4 CAR-T cells are not toxic to normal CD34+ umbilical cord blood cells in colony-forming unit assays, nor in a humanized hematopoietic-reconstituted mouse model. Our data demonstrate that anti-LILRB4 CAR-T cells specifically target monocytic AML cells with no toxicity to normal hematopoietic progenitors. This work thus offers a new treatment strategy to improve outcomes for monocytic AML, with the potential for elimination of leukemic disease while minimizing the risk for on-target off-tumor toxicity. John et al. demonstrate anti-LILRB4 CAR-T cells display potent anti-leukemic activity against monocytic AML, while sparing normal hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. Utilizing the approach of targeting AML subtypes based on normal HSC-sparing restricted immunophenotype represents an effective treatment strategy that minimizes on-target off-tumor toxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2487-2495
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Therapy
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 3 2018


  • CAR-T
  • leukemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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