Bacterial cytoplasmic membranes synergistically enhance the antitumor activity of autologous cancer vaccines

Long Chen, Hao Qin, Ruifang Zhao, Xiao Zhao, Liangru Lin, Yang Chen, Yixuan Lin, Yao Li, Yuting Qin, Yiye Li, Shaoli Liu, Keman Cheng, Hanqing Chen, Jian Shi, Gregory J. Anderson, Yan Wu, Yuliang Zhao, Guangjun Nie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Cancer vaccines based on resected tumors from patients have gained great interest as an individualized cancer treatment strategy. However, eliciting a robust therapeutic effect with personalized vaccines remains a challenge because of the weak immunogenicity of autologous tumor antigens. Utilizing exogenous prokaryotic constituents that act as adjuvants to enhance immunogenicity is a promising strategy to overcome this limitation. However, nonspecific stimulation of the immune system may elicit an undesirable immunopathological state. To specifically trigger sufficient antitumor reactivity without notable adverse effects, we developed an antigen and adjuvant codelivery nanoparticle vaccine based on Escherichia coli cytoplasmic membranes (EMs) and tumor cell membranes (TMs) from resected autologous tumor tissue. Introduction of the EM into the hybrid membrane nanoparticle vaccines (HM-NPs) induced dendritic cell maturation, thus activating splenic T cells. HM-NPs showed efficacy in immunogenic CT26 colon and 4T1 breast tumor mouse models and also efficiently induced tumor regression in B16-F10 melanoma and EMT6 breast tumor mouse models. Furthermore, HM-NPs provoked a strong tumor-specific immune response, which not only extended postoperative animal survival but also conferred long-term protection (up to 3 months) against tumor rechallenge in a CT26 colon tumor mouse model. Specific depletion of different immune cell populations revealed that CD8+ T and NK cells were crucial to the vaccine-elicited tumor regression. Individualized autologous tumor antigen vaccines based on effective activation of the innate immune system by bacterial cytoplasmic membranes hold great potential for personalized treatment of postoperative patients with cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereabc2816
JournalScience translational medicine
Issue number601
StatePublished - Jul 7 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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