Here we seek to understand the structure-based design rules that govern the lymph node targeting at the molecular level to design vaccines against autoimmune diseases. Vaccine approaches to restore antigen- specific immune tolerance to pancreatic beta-cell antigens without global immune suppression are potential therapeutic interventions for Type 1 diabetes (T1D). However, a method for realizing both efficacy and safety is yet to be developed. A major challenge in the development of effective vaccines is efficient delivery of vaccine components to antigen presenting cells (APCs) in lymphoid organs, where the orchestrations of immune cells are initiated. We propose to translate a novel """"""""albumin-hitchhiking"""""""" approach to target lymph node to molecular T1D vaccines, via the synthesis of amphiphiles that comprised of an antigen and immunosuppressant linked to lipophilic albumin-binding tail by a solubility-promoting polar polymer chain. Structurally optimized molecular vaccines will be engineered with a lipophilic albumin-binding tail and follow subcutaneous injection, can accumulate in LN via in situ complexation and transport with endogenous albumin. Albumin-hitchhiking approach can simultaneously enhance the efficacy and safety of molecular vaccines via localized vaccine delivery and modulate the antigen presenting cells within lymph node microenvironments, and can be readily translate to clinic.

Public Health Relevance

A significant barrier to autoimmune therapies, particularly novel approaches such as vaccines and immunotherapy, is lack of method to delivery therapeutics to lymph nodes. In this proposal we present a structure-based albumin-hitchhiking approach for local, sustained delivery of autoantigen and tolerogenic adjuvant to lymph node, where they are efficiently filtered by phagocytes and accumulate, promoting peripheral tolerance. This strategy integrates engineering principles in biomaterials and the targeting of immunomodulatory pathways with a novel role in autoimmunity. The results of these studies will have the potential to catalyze the development of next generation of vaccines against autoimmune diseases.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
High Priority, Short Term Project Award (R56)
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Gene and Drug Delivery Systems Study Section (GDD)
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Spain, Lisa M
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Wayne State University
Engineering (All Types)
Schools of Engineering
United States
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Yu, Chunsong; Xi, Jingchao; Li, Meng et al. (2018) Bioconjugate Strategies for the Induction of Antigen-Specific Tolerance in Autoimmune Diseases. Bioconjug Chem 29:719-732
Zhang, Weidong; An, Myunggi; Xi, Jingchao et al. (2017) Targeting CpG Adjuvant to Lymph Node via Dextran Conjugate Enhances Antitumor Immunotherapy. Bioconjug Chem 28:1993-2000
Liu, Haipeng; Irvine, Darrell J (2015) Guiding principles in the design of molecular bioconjugates for vaccine applications. Bioconjug Chem 26:791-801