A major challenge in cancer vaccine therapy is the efficient delivery of antigens and adjuvants to stimulate a controlled yet robust tumour-specific T-cell response. Here, we describe a structurally well defined DNA nanodevice vaccine generated by precisely assembling two types of molecular adjuvants and an antigen peptide within the inner cavity of a tubular DNA nanostructure that can be activated in the subcellular environment to trigger T-cell activation and cancer cytotoxicity. The integration of low pH-responsive DNA ‘locking strands’ outside the nanostructures enables the opening of the vaccine in lysosomes in antigen-presenting cells, exposing adjuvants and antigens to activate a strong immune response. The DNA nanodevice vaccine elicited a potent antigen-specific T-cell response, with subsequent tumour regression in mouse cancer models. Nanodevice vaccination generated long-term T-cell responses that potently protected the mice against tumour rechallenge.
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The data that support the findings of this study are available within the paper and its Supplementary Information files. Additional data and files are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
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This work was supported by the Beijing Municipal Science & Technology Commission (Z191100004819008), the National Basic Research Program of China (2016YFA0201601, 2018YFA0208900), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21573051, 31700871, 21708004 and 51761145044), the Science Fund for Creative Research Groups of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21721002), the Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences, CAS, Grant QYZDBSSW-SLH029, the CAS Interdisciplinary Innovation Team and K. C. Wong Education Foundation (GJTD-2018-03) and the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDB36000000).
The authors declare no competing interests.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
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Liu, S., Jiang, Q., Zhao, X. et al. A DNA nanodevice-based vaccine for cancer immunotherapy. Nat. Mater. 20, 421–430 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41563-020-0793-6
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