Supramolecular peptide nanofibers are attractive for applications in vaccine development due to their ability to induce strong immune responses without added adjuvants or associated inflammation. Here, we report that self-assembling peptide nanofibers bearing CD4+ or CD8+ T cell epitopes are processed through mechanisms of autophagy in antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Using standard in vitro antigen presentation assays, we confirmed loss and gain of the adjuvant function using pharmacological modulators of autophagy and APCs deficient in multiple autophagy proteins. The incorporation of microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B-light chain-3 (LC3-II) into the autophagosomal membrane, a key biological marker for autophagy, was confirmed using microscopy. Our findings indicate that autophagy in APCs plays an essential role in the mechanism of adjuvant action of supramolecular peptide nanofibers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)