By a biopanning method using cell sorter, we quickly isolated an antibody phage clone (S1T-A3) specific to human T-lymphotropic virus type 1-carrying T-cell line S1T from a human single chain Fv (scFv) antibody phage library. This scFv antibody bound to HTLV-1-carrying T-cell lines including MT-2, MT-4 and M8166 other than S1T, but not to non-HTLV-1-carrying T-cell lymphomas such as Jurkat and MOLT4 cells. Interestingly, this antibody induced the cell death on S1T cells very quickly (< 30 min). We tried to identify the target molecules by western blotting and mass spectrometric analysis, revealing that the target antigen was HLA class II DR. The cell death was induced only in dimmer form of scFv (diabody) and at 15-fold lower concentration than that of a fusion protein of scFv and human IgG Fc [(scFv)2-Fc] or anti HLA-DR mouse whole antibody L243. Thus, S1T-A3 diabody is a small antibody fragment with agonistic activity to induce cell death through HLA-DR. This is the first report elucidating that diabody specific to HLA-DR is effective to induce the cell death in T-cell malignancy especially adult T-cell leukaemic cell line.