New TLR7 agonists with improved humoral and cellular immune responses

Katherine C. Upchurch, José R. Boquín, Wenjie Yin, Yaming Xue, Hye Mee Joo, Robert R. Kane, Sang Kon Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) agonists are of interest as vaccine adjuvants and cancer therapeutics. Therefore, development of new TLR7 agonists that can efficiently promote host immune responses without evoking side effects is of great importance. Here, we describe two new compounds, J4 and F4, which elicit intracellular signaling exclusively via TLR7. Interestingly, both J4 and F4 induced less cytokine secretion (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12p40, TNFα, and IL-12p70) from myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs) and monocytes than CL075 and R848; however, they all generated similar levels of phenotype maturation of antigen presenting cells (APCs), including plasmacytoid DCs. We further found that J4- and F4-induced APC activation was largely dependent on the activation of NF-κB and p38. Lastly, J4 and F4 could efficiently promote B cell proliferation and plasmablast differentiation as well as antigen-specific CD8+ T cell responses in human in vitro. Therefore, these new TLR7 agonists could be employed to facilitate the development of new therapeutics and vaccine adjuvants against cancers and microbial infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-97
Number of pages9
JournalImmunology Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015


  • Adjuvant
  • Dendritic Cell
  • TLR7
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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