Research ArticleIMMUNOLOGY

TRAF6-IRF5 kinetics, TRIF, and biophysical factors drive synergistic innate responses to particle-mediated MPLA-CpG co-presentation

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Science Advances  13 Jan 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 3, eabd4235
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd4235


Innate immune responses to pathogens are driven by co-presentation of multiple pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). Combinations of PAMPs can trigger synergistic immune responses, but the underlying molecular mechanisms of synergy are poorly understood. Here, we used synthetic particulate carriers co-loaded with monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA) and CpG as pathogen-like particles (PLPs) to dissect the signaling pathways responsible for dual adjuvant immune responses. PLP-based co-delivery of MPLA and CpG to GM-CSF–driven mouse bone marrow–derived antigen-presenting cells (BM-APCs) elicited synergistic interferon-β (IFN-β) and interleukin-12p70 (IL-12p70) responses, which were strongly influenced by the biophysical properties of PLPs. Mechanistically, we found that MyD88 and interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) were necessary for IFN-β and IL-12p70 production, while TRIF signaling was required for the synergistic response. Both the kinetics and magnitude of downstream TRAF6 and IRF5 signaling drove the synergy. These results identify the key mechanisms of synergistic Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)–TLR9 co-signaling in mouse BM-APCs and underscore the critical role of signaling kinetics and biophysical properties on the integrated response to combination adjuvants.

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