Daunorubicin-containing CLL1-targeting nanomicelles have anti-leukemia stem cell activity in acute myeloid leukemia

Tzu yin Lin, Yanjun Zhu, Yuanpei Li, Hongyong Zhang, Ai Hong Ma, Qilai Long, James Keck, Kit S. Lam, Chong xian Pan, Brian A. Jonas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Patients with acute myeloid leukemia have a very poor prognosis related to a high rate of relapse and drug-related toxicity. The ability of leukemia stem cells (LSCs) to survive chemotherapy is primarily responsible for relapse, and eliminating LSCs is ultimately essential for cure. We developed novel disulfide-crosslinked CLL1-targeting micelles (DC-CTM), which can deliver high concentrations of daunorubicin (DNR) into both bulk leukemia cells and LSCs. Compared to free DNR, DC-CTM-DNR had a longer half-life, increased DNR area under the curve concentration by 11-fold, and exhibited a superior toxicity profile. In patient-derived AML xenograft models, DC-CTM-DNR treatment led to significant decreases in AML engraftment and impairment of secondary transplantation compared to control groups. Collectively, we demonstrate superior anti-LSC/AML efficacy, and preferable pharmacokinetic and toxicity profiles of DC-CTM-DNR compared to free DNR. DC-CTM-DNR has the potential to significantly improve treatment outcomes and reduce therapy-related morbidity and mortality for patients with AML.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102004
JournalNanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019


  • AML
  • CLL1
  • Daunorubicin
  • Leukemia stem cells
  • Nanoparticle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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