Hybrid cellular membrane nanovesicles amplify macrophage immune responses against cancer recurrence and metastasis

Lang Rao, Lei Wu, Zhida Liu, Rui Tian, Guocan Yu, Zijian Zhou, Kuikun Yang, Hong Gang Xiong, Anli Zhang, Guang Tao Yu, Wenjing Sun, Han Xu, Jingya Guo, Andrew Li, Hongmin Chen, Zhi Jun Sun, Yang-Xin Fu, Xiaoyuan Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Effectively activating macrophages against cancer is promising but challenging. In particular, cancer cells express CD47, a ‘don’t eat me’ signal that interacts with signal regulatory protein alpha (SIRPα) on macrophages to prevent phagocytosis. Also, cancer cells secrete stimulating factors, which polarize tumor-associated macrophages from an antitumor M1 phenotype to a tumorigenic M2 phenotype. Here, we report that hybrid cell membrane nanovesicles (known as hNVs) displaying SIRPα variants with significantly increased affinity to CD47 and containing M2-to-M1 repolarization signals can disable both mechanisms. The hNVs block CD47-SIRPα signaling axis while promoting M2-to-M1 repolarization within tumor microenvironment, significantly preventing both local recurrence and distant metastasis in malignant melanoma models. Furthermore, by loading a stimulator of interferon genes (STING) agonist, hNVs lead to potent tumor inhibition in a poorly immunogenic triple negative breast cancer model. hNVs are safe, stable, drug loadable, and suitable for genetic editing. These properties, combined with the capabilities inherited from source cells, make hNVs an attractive immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4909
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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