Endosomal Organization of CpG Constructs Correlates with Enhanced Immune Activation

Kwahun Lee, Ziyin N. Huang, Chad A. Mirkin, Teri W. Odom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This Letter describes how the endosomal organization of immunostimulatory nanoconstructs can tune the in vitro activation of macrophages. Nanoconstructs composed of gold nanoparticles conjugated with unmethylated cytosine-phosphate-guanine (CpG) oligonucleotides have distinct endosomal distributions depending on the surface curvature. Mixed-curvature constructs produce a relatively high percentage of hollow endosomes, where constructs accumulated primarily along the interior edges. These constructs achieved a higher level of toll-like receptor (TLR) 9 activation along with the enhanced secretion of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines compared to constant-curvature constructs that aggregated mostly in the center of the endosomes. Our results underscore the importance of intraendosomal interactions in regulating immune responses and targeted delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6170-6175
Number of pages6
JournalNano letters
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 12 2020


  • CpG
  • immunostimulation
  • intracellular targeting
  • nanoparticle
  • surface curvature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering

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