Doxorubicin (DOX) selection of CCRF-CEM leukaemia cell line resulted in multidrug resistance (MDR) CEM/A7R cell line, which overexpresses MDR, 1 coded P-glycoprotein (Pgp). Here, we report for the first time that oncoprotein Cripto, a founding member of epidermal growth factor-Cripto-FRL, 1-Criptic family is overexpressed in the CEM/A7R cells, and anti-Cripto monoclonal antibodies (Mab) inhibited CEM/A7R cell growth both in vitro and in an established xenograft tumour in severe combined immunodeficiency mice. Cripto Mab synergistically enhanced sensitivity of the MDR cells to Pgp substrates epirubicin (EPI), daunorubicin (DAU) and non-Pgp substrates nucleoside analogue cytosine arabinoside (AraC). In particular, the combination of anti-Cripto Mab at less than 50% of inhibition concentrations with noncytotoxic concentrations of EPI or DAU inhibited more than 90% of CEM/A7R cell growth. Cripto Mab slightly inhibited Pgp expression, and had little effect on Pgp function, indicating that a mechanism independent of Pgp was involved in overcoming MDR. We demonstrated that anti-Cripto Mab-induced CEM/A7R cell apoptosis, which was associated with an enhanced activity of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase/stress-activated protein kinase and inhibition of Akt phosphorylation, resulting in an activation of mitochondrial apoptosis pathway as evidenced by dephosphorylation of Bad at Ser136, Bcl-2 at Ser70 and a cleaved caspase-9.