A DNA nanodevice-based vaccine for cancer immunotherapy

Shaoli Liu, Qiao Jiang, Xiao Zhao, Ruifang Zhao, Yuanning Wang, Yiming Wang, Jianbing Liu, Yingxu Shang, Shuai Zhao, Tiantian Wu, Yinlong Zhang, Guangjun Nie, Baoquan Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

233 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-430
Number of pages10
JournalNature materials
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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