mAb14, a Monoclonal Antibody against Cell Surface PCNA: A Potential Tool for Sezary Syndrome Diagnosis and Targeted Immunotherapy

Jamal Knaneh, Emmilia Hodak, Shlomit Fedida-Metula, Avishay Edri, Rachel Eren, Yael Yoffe, Iris Amitay-Laish, Hadas Prag Naveh, Ido Lubin, Angel Porgador, Lilach Moyal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mycosis fungoides (MF) and Sézary syndrome (SS) are the most common types of primary cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) is expressed on the cell surface of cancer cells (csPCNA), but not on normal cells. It functions as an immune checkpoint ligand by interacting with natural killer (NK) cells through the NK inhibitory receptor NKp44, leading to the inhibition of NK cytotoxicity. A monoclonal antibody (mAb14) was established to detect csPCNA on cancer cells and block their interaction with NKp44. In this study, three CTCL cell lines and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from patients with SS and healthy donors were analyzed for csPCNA using mAb14, compared to monoclonal antibody PC10, against nuclear PCNA (nPCNA). The following assays were used: immunostaining, imaging flow cytometry, flow cytometry, cell sorting, cell cycle analysis, ELISA, and the NK-cell cytotoxic assay. mAb14 successfully detected PCNA on the membrane and in the cytoplasm of viable CTCL cell lines associated with the G2/M phase. In the Sézary PBMCs, csPCNA was expressed on lymphoma cells that had an atypical morphology and not on normal cells. Furthermore, it was not expressed on PBMCs from healthy donors. In the co-culture of peripheral blood NK (pNK) cells with CTCL lines, mAb14 increased the secretion of IFN-γ, indicating the reactivation of pNK activity. However, mAb14 did not enhance the cytotoxic activity of pNK cells against CTCL cell lines. The unique expression of csPCNA detected by mAb14 suggests that csPCNA and mAb14 may serve as a potential biomarker and tool, respectively, for detecting malignant cells in SS and possibly other CTCL variants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4421
Issue number17
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2023


  • Mycosis fungoides (MF)
  • Sézary syndrome (SS)
  • cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL)
  • monoclonal antibody 14 (mAb14)
  • natural killer p44 isoform-1 (NKp44-1)
  • proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA)

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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