ARTICLE ABSTRACTOverexpression of Notch receptors and ligands has been associated with various cancers and developmental disorders, making Notch a potential therapeutic target. Here, we report characterization of Notch1 monoclonal antibodies (mAb) with therapeutic potential. The mAbs generated against epidermal growth factor (EGF) repeats 11 to 15 inhibited binding of Jagged1 and Delta-like4 and consequently, signaling in a dose-dependent manner, the antibodies against EGF repeats 11 to 12 being more effective than those against repeats 13 to 15. These data emphasize the role of EGF repeats 11 to 12 in ligand binding. One of the mAbs, 602.101, which specifically recognizes Notch1, inhibited ligand-dependent expression of downstream target genes of Notch such as HES-1, HES-5, and HEY-L in the breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231. The mAb also decreased cell proliferation and induced apoptotic cell death. Furthermore, exposure to this antibody reduced CD44Hi/CD24Low subpopulation in MDA-MB-231 cells, suggesting a decrease in the cancer stem–like cell subpopulation. This was confirmed by showing that exposure to the antibody decreased the primary, secondary, and tertiary mammosphere formation efficiency of the cells. Interestingly, effect of the antibody on the putative stem-like cells appeared to be irreversible, because the mammosphere-forming efficiency could not be salvaged even after antibody removal during the secondary sphere formation. The antibody also modulated expression of genes associated with stemness and epithelial–mesenchymal transition. Thus, targeting individual Notch receptors by specific mAbs is a potential therapeutic strategy to reduce the potential breast cancer stem–like cell subpopulation. Mol Cancer Ther; 11(1); 77–86. ©2011 AACR.