A DNA nanostructure platform for directed assembly of synthetic vaccines.
ABSTRACT: Safe and effective vaccines offer the best intervention for disease control. One strategy to maximize vaccine immunogenicity without compromising safety is to rationally design molecular complexes that mimic the natural structure of immunogenic microbes but without the disease-causing components. Here we use highly programmable DNA nanostructures as platforms to assemble a model antigen and CpG adjuvants together into nanoscale complexes with precise control of the valency and spatial arrangement of each element. Our results from immunized mice show that compared to a mixture of antigen and CpG molecules, the assembled antigen-adjuvant-DNA complexes induce strong and long-lasting antibody responses against the antigen without stimulating a reaction to the DNA nanostructure itself. This result demonstrates the potential of DNA nanostructures to serve as general platforms for the rational design and construction of a variety of vaccines.
Project description:Immunotherapy has received increasing attention due to its low potential side effects and high specificity. For instance, cancer immunotherapy has achieved great success. CpG is a well-known and commonly used immunotherapeutic and vaccine adjuvant, but it has the disadvantage of being unstable and low in efficacy and needs to be transported through an effective nanocarrier. With perfect structural programmability, permeability, and biocompatibility, DNA nanostructures are one of the most promising candidates to deliver immune components to realize immunotherapy. However, the instability and low capability of the payload of ordinary DNA assemblies limit the relevant applications. Consequently, DNA nanostructure with a firm structure, high drug payloads is highly desirable. In the paper, the latest progress of biostable, high-payload DNA nanoassemblies of various structures, including cage-like DNA nanostructure, DNA particles, DNA polypods, and DNA hydrogel, are reviewed. Cage-like DNA structures hold drug molecules firmly inside the structure and leave a large space within the cavity. These DNA nanostructures use their unique structure to carry abundant CpG, and their biocompatibility and size advantages to enter immune cells to achieve immunotherapy for various diseases. Part of the DNA nanostructures can also achieve more effective treatment in conjunction with other functional components such as aPD1, RNA, TLR ligands.
Project description:Synthetic vaccines utilize viral signatures to trigger immune responses. Although the immune responses raised against the biochemical signatures of viruses are well characterized, the mechanism of how they affect immune response in the context of physical signatures is not well studied. In this work, we investigated the ability of zero- and one-dimensional self-assembled peptide nanostructures carrying unmethylated CpG motifs (signature of viral DNA) for tuning immune response. These nanostructures represent the two most common viral shapes, spheres and rods. The nanofibrous structures were found to direct immune response towards Th1 phenotype, which is responsible for acting against intracellular pathogens such as viruses, to a greater extent than nanospheres and CpG ODN alone. In addition, nanofibers exhibited enhanced uptake into dendritic cells compared to nanospheres or the ODN itself. The chemical stability of the ODN against nuclease-mediated degradation was also observed to be enhanced when complexed with the peptide nanostructures. In vivo studies showed that nanofibers promoted antigen-specific IgG production over 10-fold better than CpG ODN alone. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report showing the modulation of the nature of an immune response through the shape of the carrier system.
Project description:We report characterization of the nanostructures of complexes formed between the redox-active lipid bis(n-ferrocenylundecyl)dimethylammonium bromide (BFDMA) and DNA using small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM). A particular focus was directed to the influence of lipid oxidation state (where reduced BFDMA has a net charge of +1 and oxidized BFDMA has a charge of +3) on the nanostructures of the solution aggregates formed. Complexes were characterized over a range of charge ratios of reduced BFDMA to DNA (1.1:1, 2.75:1, and 4:1) in solutions of 1 mM Li2SO4. For these complexes, a single peak in the SANS data at 1.2 nm(-1) indicated that a nanostructure with a periodicity of 5.2 nm was present, similar to that observed with complexes of the classical lipids DODAB/DOPE and DNA (multilamellar spacing of 7.0 nm). The absence of additional Bragg peaks in all the SANS data indicated that the periodicity did not extend over large distances. Both inverse Fourier transform analysis and form factor fitting suggested formation of a multilamellar vesicle. These results were confirmed by cryo-TEM images in which multilamellar complexes with diameters between 50 and 150 nm were observed with no more than seven lamellae per aggregate. In contrast to complexes of reduced BFDMA and DNA, Bragg peaks were absent in SANS spectra of complexes formed by oxidized BFDMA and DNA at all charge ratios investigated. The low-q behavior of the SANS data obtained using oxidized BFDMA and DNA complexes suggested that large, loose aggregates were formed, consistent with complementary cryo-TEM images showing predominantly loose disordered aggregates. Some highly ordered spongelike and cubic phase nanostructures were also detected in cryo-TEM images. We conclude that control of BFDMA oxidation state can be used to manipulate the nanostructures of lipid-DNA complexes formed using BFDMA.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The screening of peptide-based epitopes has been studied extensively for the purpose of developing therapeutic antibodies and prophylactic vaccines that can be potentially useful for treating cancer and infectious diseases such as influenza virus, malaria, hepatitis B, and HIV. To improve the efficacy of antibody production by epitope-based immunization, researchers evaluated liposomes as a means of delivering vaccines; they also formulated adjuvants such as flagella and CpG-DNA to enhance the magnitude of immune responses. Here, we provide a potent method for peptide-based epitope screening and antibody production without conventional carriers. RESULTS: We present that a particular form of natural phosphodiester bond CpG-DNA encapsulated in a specific liposome complex (Lipoplex(O)) induces potent immunomodulatory activity in humans as well as in mice. Additionally, Lipoplex(O) enhances the production of IgG2a specific to antigenic protein in mice. Most importantly, immunization of mice with several peptides co-encapsulated with Lipoplex(O) without carriers significantly induces each peptide-specific IgG2a production in a TLR9-dependent manner. A peptide-specific monoclonal antibody produced against hepatocellular carcinoma-associated antigen has functional effects on the cancer cells. CONCLUSIONS: Our overall results show that Lipoplex(O) is a potent adjuvant and that complexes of peptide and Lipoplex(O) are extremely useful for B cell epitope screening and antibody production without carriers. Therefore, our strategy may be promptly used for the development of therapeutic antibodies by rapid screening of potent B cell epitopes.
Project description:DNA origami nanostructures are widely employed in various areas of fundamental and applied research. Due to the tremendous success of the DNA origami technique in the academic field, considerable efforts currently aim at the translation of this technology from a laboratory setting to real-world applications, such as nanoelectronics, drug delivery, and biosensing. While many of these real-world applications rely on an intact DNA origami shape, they often also subject the DNA origami nanostructures to rather harsh and potentially damaging environmental and processing conditions. Furthermore, in the context of DNA origami mass production, the long-term storage of DNA origami nanostructures or their pre-assembled components also becomes an issue of high relevance, especially regarding the possible negative effects on DNA origami structural integrity. Thus, we investigated the effect of staple age on the self-assembly and stability of DNA origami nanostructures using atomic force microscopy. Different harsh processing conditions were simulated by applying different sample preparation protocols. Our results show that staple solutions may be stored at -20 °C for several years without impeding DNA origami self-assembly. Depending on DNA origami shape and superstructure, however, staple age may have negative effects on DNA origami stability under harsh treatment conditions. Mass spectrometry analysis of the aged staple mixtures revealed no signs of staple fragmentation. We, therefore, attribute the increased DNA origami sensitivity toward environmental conditions to an accumulation of damaged nucleobases, which undergo weaker base-pairing interactions and thus lead to reduced duplex stability.
Project description:Efficacious vaccines require antigens that elicit productive immune system activation. Antigens that afford robust antibody production activate both B and T cells. Elucidating the antigen properties that enhance B-T cell communication is difficult with traditional antigens. We therefore used ring-opening metathesis polymerization to access chemically defined, multivalent antigens containing both B and T cell epitopes to explore how antigen structure impacts B cell and T cell activation and communication. The bifunctional antigens were designed so that the backbone substitution level of each antigenic epitope could be quantified using (19)F NMR. The T cell peptide epitope was appended so that it could be liberated in B cells via the action of the endosomal protease cathepsin D, and this design feature was critical for T cell activation. Antigens with high BCR epitope valency induce greater BCR-mediated internalization and T cell activation than did low valency antigens, and these high-valency polymeric antigens were superior to protein antigens. We anticipate that these findings can guide the design of more effective vaccines.
Project description:There is a need for new vaccine adjuvant strategies that offer both vigorous antibody and T-cell mediated protection to combat difficult intracellular pathogens and cancer. To this aim, we formulated class-B synthetic oligodeoxynucleotide containing unmethylated cytosine-guanine motifs (CpG-ODN) with a nanostructure (Coa-ASC16 or coagel) formed by self-assembly of 6-0-ascorbyl palmitate ester. Our previous results demonstrated that mice immunized with ovalbumin (OVA) and CpG-ODN formulated with Coa-ASC16 (OVA/CpG-ODN/Coa-ASC16) elicited strong antibodies (IgG1 and IgG2a) and Th1/Th17 cellular responses without toxic systemic effects. These responses were superior to those induced by a solution of OVA with CpG-ODN or OVA/CpG-ODN formulated with aluminum salts. In this study, we investigated the capacity of this adjuvant strategy (CpG-ODN/Coa-ASC16) to elicit CD8+ T-cell response and some of the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in adaptive response. We also analyzed whether this adjuvant strategy allows a switch from an immunization scheme of three-doses to one of single-dose. Our results demonstrated that vaccination with OVA/CpG-ODN/Coa-ASC16 elicited an antigen-specific long-lasting humoral response and importantly-high quality CD8+ T-cell immunity with a single-dose immunization. Moreover, Coa-ASC16 promoted co-uptake of OVA and CpG-ODN by dendritic cells. The CD8+ T-cell response induced by OVA/CpG-ODN/Coa-ASC16 was dependent of type I interferons and independent of CD4+ T-cells, and showed polyfunctionality and efficiency against an intracellular pathogen. Furthermore, the cellular and humoral responses elicited by the nanostructured formulation were IL-6-independent. This system provides a simple and inexpensive adjuvant strategy with great potential for future rationally designed vaccines.
Project description:Herein, the DNA strands containing 5'-(CGA) n and consecutive guanines are used to construct supramolecular DNA nanostructures that are size-controlled by pH values. Additionally, the introduction of thymine linkers within DNA nanostructures is necessary to maintain the stability of long-sized nanostructures. This work also demonstrates a method for accurately building DNA nanostructures.
Project description:Here we report a rational strategy to orthogonally control assembly and disassembly of DNA-based nanostructures using specific IgG antibodies as molecular inputs. We first demonstrate that the binding of a specific antibody to a pair of antigen-conjugated split DNA input-strands induces their co-localization and reconstitution into a functional unit that is able to initiate a toehold strand displacement reaction. The effect is rapid and specific and can be extended to different antibodies with the expedient of changing the recognition elements attached to the two split DNA input-strands. Such an antibody-regulated DNA-based circuit has then been employed to control the assembly and disassembly of DNA tubular structures using specific antibodies as inputs. For example, we demonstrate that we can induce self-assembly and disassembly of two distinct DNA tubular structures by using DNA circuits controlled by two different IgG antibodies (anti-Dig and anti-DNP antibodies) in the same solution in an orthogonal way.
Project description:Whole-virus vaccines, including inactivated or live-attenuated influenza vaccines, have been conventionally developed and supported as a prophylaxis. These currently available virus-based influenza vaccines are widely used in the clinic, but the vaccine production takes a long time and a huge number of embryonated chicken eggs. To overcome the imperfection of egg-based influenza vaccines, epitope-based peptide vaccines have been studied as an alternative approach. Here, we formulated an efficacious peptide vaccine without carriers using phosphodiester CpG-DNA and a special liposome complex. Potential epitope peptides predicted from the hemagglutinin (HA) protein of the H5N1 A/Viet Nam/1203/2004 strain (NCBI database, AAW80717) were used to immunize mice along with phosphodiester CpG-DNA co-encapsulated in a phosphatidyl-?-oleoyl-?-palmitoyl ethanolamine (DOPE):cholesterol hemisuccinate (CHEMS) complex (Lipoplex(O)) without carriers. We identified a B cell epitope peptide (hH5N1 HA233 epitope, 14 amino acids) that can potently induce epitope-specific antibodies. Furthermore, immunization with a complex of the B cell epitope and Lipoplex(O) completely protects mice challenged with a lethal dose of recombinant H5N1 virus. These results suggest that our improved peptide vaccine technology can be promptly applied to vaccine development against pandemic influenza. Furthermore our results suggest that potent epitopes, which cannot be easily found using proteins or a virus as an antigen, can be screened when we use a complex of peptide epitopes and Lipoplex(O).