EPHB4, an ephrin type B receptor, is implicated in the growth of several epithelial tumors and is a promising target in cancer therapy; however, little is known about its role in hematologic malignancies. In this article, we show that EPHB4 is highly expressed in;30% of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) samples. In an unbiased RNA interference screen of primary leukemia samples, we found that EPHB4 drives survival in a subset of AML cases. Knockdown of EPHB4 inhibits phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT signaling, and this is accompanied by a reduction in cell viability, which can be rescued by a constitutively active form of AKT. Finally, targeting EPHB4 with a highly specific monoclonal antibody (MAb131) is effective against AML in vitro and in vivo. EPHB4 is therefore a potential target in AML with high EPHB4 expression.
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