Cord Factor-based Adjuvant Development

Cord Factor-based Adjuvant Development

Research in synthetic chemistry and chemical biology facilitates the development of well-defined adjuvant molecules. As a leader in carbohydrate adjuvants development, CD BioGlyco offers cord factor and its analogs adjuvants development services by chemical modification. Our development services have been recognized by many scientists, and we are confident to be your indispensable assistant in the field of adjuvant development.

Cord Factor

Cord factor, also known as trehalose-6-6-dimycolate (TDM), is a cell wall component of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is trehalose esterified by two α-alkyl groups and mycobacteria and has potent adjuvant activity. Many immune adjuvants are pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) that trigger pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) on cells of the innate immune system to promote activation of innate immune cells. Cord factor is a powerful pro-inflammatory PAMP with biological effects such as antitumor activity and stimulation of host resistance to infection. Currently, many cord factor analogs have been developed as adjuvants such as trehalose-6,6'-dibehenate (TDB), which is used as an adjuvant for tuberculosis subunit vaccines.

Action Mechanism of Cord Factor

Cord factor activates innate immune cell Mincle mediated by C-type lectin induced by innate immune receptor macrophages. Mincle is coupled to the immunoreceptor tyrosine-activated motif (ITAM) to activate the adaptor protein CARD9 and spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK). This results in SYK-CARD9-dependent activation of NF-κB and the production of cytokines TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1β. However, due to the high reactogenicity, cord factor is not suitable for human vaccines. Therefore, researchers have developed potent adjuvants with shorter acyl chains, effective, and less toxic by synthesizing cord factor analogs.

SYK-CARD9 signaling pathway.Fig.1 SYK-CARD9 signaling pathway. (Marakalala, 2010)

Cord Factor-based Adjuvant Development Services

At present, many analogs of cord factor have been synthesized. They attenuated the toxicity of cord factor to some extent, but still retained potent adjuvant activity. CD BioGlyco provides cord factor-based adjuvant development services to customers. Our methods include but are not limited to:

  • Potent adjuvants are obtained by chemical structural modifications to the cord factor (e.g., degree of acylation, chain length, and insertion of hydrophilic polyethylene glycol spacers).
  • Incorporation of TDB into cationic liposomes composed of the quaternary ammonium compound dimethyldioctadecylammonium (DDA) to obtain a potent adjuvant.

CD BioGlyco has extensive experience in carbohydrate-based adjuvants development. Our advanced Glyco™ Vaccine Development Platform and experienced scientists support our customers' adjuvant development projects. Meanwhile, we also have a 24-hour after-sales service guarantee. If you are interested in our cord factor-based adjuvant development services, please contact us directly, and we will customize the experimental plan according to your needs.


  1. Marakalala, M.J.; et al. The role of Syk/CARD9-coupled C-type lectin receptors in immunity to Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections. Clinical and Developmental Immunology. 2010.
  2. Decout, A.; et al. Rational design of adjuvants targeting the C-type lectin Mincle. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2017, 114(10):2675-2680.
This service is for Research Use Only, not intended for any clinical use.

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