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.