A strong CD8+ T cell-stimulating supramolecular hydrogel†
The development of molecules with immune stimulatory properties is crucial for cancer immunotherapy. In this work, we combined two peptide-based molecules, tuftsin (TKPR) and Nap-GDFDFDY, to develop a novel self-assembling molecule Nap-GDFDFDYTKPR (Comp. 3), which has strong CD8+ T cell stimulatory properties. Comp. 3 could self-assemble into nanofibers and hydrogels, which significantly improved the stability of tuftsin against enzyme digestion. The nanofibers of Comp. 3 enhanced the phagocytic activity of macrophages, promoted the maturation of DCs, and stimulated the expression of cytokines. In addition, it demonstrated an excellent anti-tumor efficacy in vivo by eliciting a strong CD8+ T immune response. Taken together, our observations revealed a powerful immune stimulating nanomaterial that is a promising compound for cancer immunotherapy.