Structure-based programming of lymph-node targeting in molecular vaccines
Nature 507, 7493 (2014). doi:10.1038/nature12978
Authors: Haipeng Liu, Kelly D. Moynihan, Yiran Zheng, Gregory L. Szeto, Adrienne V. Li, Bonnie Huang, Debra S. Van Egeren, Clara Park & Darrell J. Irvine
In cancer patients, visual identification of sentinel lymph nodes (LNs) is achieved by the injection of dyes that bind avidly to endogenous albumin, targeting these compounds to LNs, where they are efficiently filtered by resident phagocytes. Here we translate this ‘albumin hitchhiking’ approach to molecular vaccines, through the synthesis of amphiphiles (amph-vaccines) comprising an antigen or adjuvant cargo linked to a lipophilic albumin-binding tail by a solubility-promoting polar polymer chain. Administration of structurally optimized CpG-DNA/peptide amph-vaccines in mice resulted in marked increases in LN accumulation and decreased systemic dissemination relative to their parent compounds, leading to 30-fold increases in T-cell priming and enhanced anti-tumour efficacy while greatly reducing systemic toxicity. Amph-vaccines provide a simple, broadly applicable strategy to simultaneously increase the potency and safety of subunit vaccines.