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1.
J Gen Virol ; 103(5)2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1861028

ABSTRACT

In vivo nucleic expression technologies using DNA or mRNA offer several advantages for recombinant gene expression. Their inherent ability to generate natively expressed recombinant proteins and antigens allows these technologies to mimic foreign gene expression without infection. Furthermore, foreign nucleic acid fragments have an inherent ability to act as natural immune adjuvants and stimulate innate pathogen- and DNA damage-associated receptors that are responsible for activating pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) and DNA damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP) signalling pathways. This makes nucleic-acid-based expression technologies attractive for a wide range of vaccine and oncolytic immunotherapeutic uses. Recently, RNA vaccines have demonstrated their efficacy in generating strong humoral and cellular immune responses for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). DNA vaccines, which are more stable and easier to manufacture, generate similar immune responses to RNA, but typically exhibit lower immunogenicity. Here we report on a novel method of constructing self-amplifying DNA expression vectors that have the potential to amplify and enhance gene/antigen expression at a cellular level by increasing per cell gene copy numbers, boost genomic adjuvating effects and mitigate through replication many of the problems faced by non-replicating vectors such as degradation, methylation and gene silencing. These vectors employ a viral origin rolling circle replication cycle in mammalian host cells that amplifies the vector and gene of interest (GOI) copy number, maintaining themselves as nuclear episomes. We show that these vectors maintain persistently elevated GOI expression levels at the cellular level and induce morphological cellular alterations synonymous with increased cellular stress.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Circovirus , Vaccines, DNA , Animals , Circovirus/genetics , Genetic Vectors/genetics , Mammals , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, DNA/genetics
2.
Mol Pharm ; 19(6): 1892-1905, 2022 06 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1860276

ABSTRACT

Lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are the leading technology for RNA delivery, given the success of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 mRNA (mRNA) vaccines, and small interfering RNA (siRNA) therapies (patisiran). However, optimization of LNP process parameters and compositions for larger RNA payloads such as self-amplifying RNA (saRNA), which can have complex secondary structures, have not been carried out. Furthermore, the interactions between process parameters, critical quality attributes (CQAs), and function, such as protein expression and cellular activation, are not well understood. Here, we used two iterations of design of experiments (DoE) (definitive screening design and Box-Behnken design) to optimize saRNA formulations using the leading, FDA-approved ionizable lipids (MC3, ALC-0315, and SM-102). We observed that PEG is required to preserve the CQAs and that saRNA is more challenging to encapsulate and preserve than mRNA. We identified three formulations to minimize cellular activation, maximize cellular activation, or meet a CQA profile while maximizing protein expression. The significant parameters and design of the response surface modeling and multiple response optimization may be useful for designing formulations for a range of applications, such as vaccines or protein replacement therapies, for larger RNA cargoes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nanoparticles , Amino Alcohols , COVID-19/therapy , Caprylates , Decanoates , Humans , Liposomes , Nanoparticles/chemistry , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , RNA, Small Interfering
3.
Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev ; 25: 225-235, 2022 Jun 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1821439

ABSTRACT

The spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 plays a crucial role in cell entry, and the nucleocapsid (N) protein is highly conserved among human coronavirus homologs. For potentially broad effectiveness against both original virus and emerging variants, we developed Alphavirus-based self-amplifying mRNA (sa-mRNA) SARS-CoV-2 vaccines: an sa-mRNA S encoding a full-length S protein stabilized in a prefusion conformation and an sa-mRNA S-N co-expressing S and N proteins for the original virus. We show that these sa-mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccines raised potent neutralizing antibody responses in mice against not only the original virus but also the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta variants. sa-mRNA S vaccines against the Alpha and Beta variants also raised robust cross-reactive neutralizing antibody responses against their homologous viruses and heterologous variants. sa-mRNA S and sa-mRNA S-N vaccines elicited Th1-dominant, antigen-specific CD4+ T cell responses to S and N proteins and robust and broad CD8+ T cell responses to S protein. Hamsters immunized with either vaccine were fully protected from lung infection and showed significant reduction of viral load in upper respiratory tract. Our findings demonstrate that sa-mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are potent in animal models with potential to be highly effective against SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans.

4.
Mol Ther ; 2022 Apr 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1796007

ABSTRACT

Self-amplifying RNA vaccines may induce equivalent or more potent immune responses at lower doses compared to non-replicating mRNA vaccines via amplified antigen expression. In this paper, we demonstrate that 1 µg of an LNP-formulated dual-antigen self-amplifying RNA vaccine (ZIP1642), encoding both the S-RBD and N antigen, elicits considerably higher neutralizing antibody titers against Wuhan-like Beta B.1.351 and Delta B.1.617.2 SARS-CoV-2 variants compared to those of convalescent patients. In addition, ZIP1642 vaccination in mice expanded both S- and N-specific CD3+CD4+ and CD3+CD8+ T cells and caused a Th1 shifted cytokine response. We demonstrate that the induction of such dual antigen-targeted cell-mediated immune response may provide better protection against variants displaying highly mutated Spike proteins, as infectious viral loads of both Wuhan-like and Beta variants were decreased after challenge of ZIP1642 vaccinated hamsters. Supported by these results, we encourage redirecting focus toward the induction of multiple antigen-targeted cell-mediated immunity in addition to neutralizing antibody responses to bypass waning antibody responses and attenuate infectious breakthrough and disease severity of future SARS-CoV-2 variants.

5.
J Control Release ; 345: 770-785, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1768290

ABSTRACT

There has been a growing interest in RNA therapeutics globally, and much progress has been made in this area, which has been further accelerated by the clinical applications of RNA-based vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Following these successful clinical trials, various technologies have been developed to improve the efficacy of RNA-based drugs. Multimerization of RNA therapeutics is one of the most attractive approaches to ensure high stability, high efficacy, and prolonged action of RNA-based drugs. In this review, we offer an overview of the representative approaches for generating repetitive functional RNAs by chemical conjugation, structural self-assembly, enzymatic elongation, and self-amplification. The therapeutic and vaccine applications of engineered multimeric RNAs in various diseases have also been summarized. By outlining the current status of multimeric RNAs, the potential of multimeric RNA as a promising treatment strategy is highlighted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , RNA/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
6.
EClinicalMedicine ; 44: 101262, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1620636

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Lipid nanoparticle (LNP) encapsulated self-amplifying RNA (saRNA) is a novel technology formulated as a low dose vaccine against COVID-19. METHODS: A phase I first-in-human dose-ranging trial of a saRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate LNP-nCoVsaRNA, was conducted at Imperial Clinical Research Facility, and participating centres in London, UK, between 19th June to 28th October 2020. Participants received two intramuscular (IM) injections of LNP-nCoVsaRNA at six different dose levels, 0.1-10.0µg, given four weeks apart. An open-label dose escalation was followed by a dose evaluation. Solicited adverse events (AEs) were collected for one week from enrolment, with follow-up at regular intervals (1-8 weeks). The binding and neutralisation capacity of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody raised in participant sera was measured by means of an anti-Spike (S) IgG ELISA, immunoblot, SARS-CoV-2 pseudoneutralisation and wild type neutralisation assays. (The trial is registered: ISRCTN17072692, EudraCT 2020-001646-20). FINDINGS: 192 healthy individuals with no history or serological evidence of COVID-19, aged 18-45 years were enrolled. The vaccine was well tolerated with no serious adverse events related to vaccination. Seroconversion at week six whether measured by ELISA or immunoblot was related to dose (both p<0.001), ranging from 8% (3/39; 0.1µg) to 61% (14/23; 10.0µg) in ELISA and 46% (18/39; 0.3µg) to 87% (20/23; 5.0µg and 10.0µg) in a post-hoc immunoblot assay. Geometric mean (GM) anti-S IgG concentrations ranged from 74 (95% CI, 45-119) at 0.1µg to 1023 (468-2236) ng/mL at 5.0µg (p<0.001) and was not higher at 10.0µg. Neutralisation of SARS-CoV-2 by participant sera was measurable in 15% (6/39; 0.1µg) to 48% (11/23; 5.0µg) depending on dose level received. INTERPRETATION: Encapsulated saRNA is safe for clinical development, is immunogenic at low dose levels but failed to induce 100% seroconversion. Modifications to optimise humoral responses are required to realise its potential as an effective vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. FUNDING: This study was co-funded by grants and gifts from the Medical Research Council UKRI (MC_PC_19076), and the National Institute Health Research/Vaccine Task Force, Partners of Citadel and Citadel Securities, Sir Joseph Hotung Charitable Settlement, Jon Moulton Charity Trust, Pierre Andurand, Restore the Earth.

7.
Mol Ther ; 30(5): 1897-1912, 2022 05 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586240

ABSTRACT

RNA vaccines have demonstrated efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 in humans, and the technology is being leveraged for rapid emergency response. In this report, we assessed immunogenicity and, for the first time, toxicity, biodistribution, and protective efficacy in preclinical models of a two-dose self-amplifying messenger RNA (SAM) vaccine, encoding a prefusion-stabilized spike antigen of SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan-Hu-1 strain and delivered by lipid nanoparticles (LNPs). In mice, one immunization with the SAM vaccine elicited a robust spike-specific antibody response, which was further boosted by a second immunization, and effectively neutralized the matched SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan strain as well as B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta) and B.1.617.2 (Delta) variants. High frequencies of spike-specific germinal center B, Th0/Th1 CD4, and CD8 T cell responses were observed in mice. Local tolerance, potential systemic toxicity, and biodistribution of the vaccine were characterized in rats. In hamsters, the vaccine candidate was well-tolerated, markedly reduced viral load in the upper and lower airways, and protected animals against disease in a dose-dependent manner, with no evidence of disease enhancement following SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Therefore, the SARS-CoV-2 SAM (LNP) vaccine candidate has a favorable safety profile, elicits robust protective immune responses against multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants, and has been advanced to phase 1 clinical evaluation (NCT04758962).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cricetinae , Humans , Liposomes , Mice , Nanoparticles , RNA, Messenger , Rats , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Tissue Distribution
8.
J Control Release ; 342: 388-399, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1562303

ABSTRACT

The efficacy of RNA-based vaccines has been recently demonstrated, leading to the use of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines. The application of self-amplifying mRNA within these formulations may offer further enhancement to these vaccines, as self-amplifying mRNA replicons enable longer expression kinetics and more potent immune responses compared to non-amplifying mRNAs. To investigate the impact of administration route on RNA-vaccine potency, we investigated the immunogenicity of a self-amplifying mRNA encoding the rabies virus glycoprotein encapsulated in different nanoparticle platforms (solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs), polymeric nanoparticles (PNPs) and lipid nanoparticles (LNPs)). These were administered via three different routes: intramuscular, intradermal and intranasal. Our studies in a mouse model show that the immunogenicity of our 4 different saRNA vaccine formulations after intramuscular or intradermal administration was initially comparable; however, ionizable LNPs gave higher long-term IgG responses. The clearance of all 4 of the nanoparticle formulations from the intramuscular or intradermal administration site was similar. In contrast, immune responses generated after intranasal was low and coupled with rapid clearance for the administration site, irrespective of the formulation. These results demonstrate that both the administration route and delivery system format dictate self-amplifying RNA vaccine efficacy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nanoparticles , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Liposomes , Mice , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccine Potency , Vaccines, Synthetic
9.
Front Genome Ed ; 2: 579297, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1497070

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic has substantially accelerated the demands for efficient vaccines. A wide spectrum of approaches includes live attenuated and inactivated viruses, protein subunits and peptides, viral vector-based delivery, DNA plasmids, and synthetic mRNA. Preclinical studies have demonstrated robust immune responses, reduced viral loads and protection against challenges with SARS-CoV-2 in rodents and primates. Vaccine candidates based on all delivery systems mentioned above have been subjected to clinical trials in healthy volunteers. Phase I clinical trials have demonstrated in preliminary findings good safety and tolerability. Evaluation of immune responses in a small number of individuals has demonstrated similar or superior levels of neutralizing antibodies in comparison to immunogenicity detected in COVID-19 patients. Both adenovirus- and mRNA-based vaccines have entered phase II and study protocols for phase III trials with 30,000 participants have been finalized.

10.
Adv Drug Deliv Rev ; 176: 113900, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1384817

ABSTRACT

The recent approval of messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccines to combat the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic highlights the potential of both conventional mRNA and self-amplifying mRNA (saRNA) as a flexible immunotherapy platform to treat infectious diseases. Besides the antigen it encodes, mRNA itself has an immune-stimulating activity that can contribute to vaccine efficacy. This self-adjuvant effect, however, will interfere with mRNA translation and may influence the desired therapeutic outcome. To further exploit its potential as a versatile therapeutic platform, it will be crucial to control mRNA's innate immune-stimulating properties. In this regard, we describe the mechanisms behind the innate immune recognition of mRNA and provide an extensive overview of strategies to control its innate immune-stimulating activity. These strategies range from modifications to the mRNA backbone itself, optimization of production and purification processes to the combination with innate immune inhibitors. Furthermore, we discuss the delicate balance of the self-adjuvant effect in mRNA vaccination strategies, which can be both beneficial and detrimental to the therapeutic outcome.


Subject(s)
Gene Amplification/immunology , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Immunotherapy/methods , RNA, Messenger/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Gene Amplification/drug effects , Humans , Immunity, Innate/drug effects , Immunotherapy/trends , RNA, Messenger/administration & dosage , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics
11.
Mol Ther ; 29(6): 1970-1983, 2021 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1386766

ABSTRACT

A self-transcribing and replicating RNA (STARR)-based vaccine (LUNAR-COV19) has been developed to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. The vaccine encodes an alphavirus-based replicon and the SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike glycoprotein. Translation of the replicon produces a replicase complex that amplifies and prolongs SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein expression. A single prime vaccination in mice led to robust antibody responses, with neutralizing antibody titers increasing up to day 60. Activation of cell-mediated immunity produced a strong viral antigen-specific CD8+ T lymphocyte response. Assaying for intracellular cytokine staining for interferon (IFN)γ and interleukin-4 (IL-4)-positive CD4+ T helper (Th) lymphocytes as well as anti-spike glycoprotein immunoglobulin G (IgG)2a/IgG1 ratios supported a strong Th1-dominant immune response. Finally, single LUNAR-COV19 vaccination at both 2 µg and 10 µg doses completely protected human ACE2 transgenic mice from both mortality and even measurable infection following wild-type SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Our findings collectively suggest the potential of LUNAR-COV19 as a single-dose vaccine.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Alphavirus/genetics , Alphavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/drug effects , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/biosynthesis , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Female , Gene Expression , Humans , Immunity, Cellular/drug effects , Immunity, Humoral/drug effects , Interferon-gamma/genetics , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Interleukin-4/genetics , Interleukin-4/immunology , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Replicon/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Th1 Cells/drug effects , Th1 Cells/immunology , Th1 Cells/virology , Transgenes , Treatment Outcome , Vaccination/methods , Vaccines, Synthetic/biosynthesis , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology
12.
J Control Release ; 338: 201-210, 2021 10 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1364213

ABSTRACT

Self-amplifying RNA (saRNA) is a next-generation vaccine platform, but like all nucleic acids, requires a delivery vehicle to promote cellular uptake and protect the saRNA from degradation. To date, delivery platforms for saRNA have included lipid nanoparticles (LNP), polyplexes and cationic nanoemulsions; of these LNP are the most clinically advanced with the recent FDA approval of COVID-19 based-modified mRNA vaccines. While the effect of RNA on vaccine immunogenicity is well studied, the role of biomaterials in saRNA vaccine effectiveness is under investigated. Here, we tested saRNA formulated with either pABOL, a bioreducible polymer, or LNP, and characterized the protein expression and vaccine immunogenicity of both platforms. We observed that pABOL-formulated saRNA resulted in a higher magnitude of protein expression, but that the LNP formulations were overall more immunogenic. Furthermore, we observed that both the helper phospholipid and route of administration (intramuscular versus intranasal) of LNP impacted the vaccine immunogenicity of two model antigens (influenza hemagglutinin and SARS-CoV-2 spike protein). We observed that LNP administered intramuscularly, but not pABOL or LNP administered intranasally, resulted in increased acute interleukin-6 expression after vaccination. Overall, these results indicate that delivery systems and routes of administration may fulfill different delivery niches within the field of saRNA genetic medicines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza Vaccines , Nanoparticles , Humans , Lipids , Polymers , RNA , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
13.
Front Mol Biosci ; 8: 635245, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1186840

ABSTRACT

With the current outbreak caused by SARS-CoV-2, vaccination is acclaimed as a public health care priority. Rapid genetic sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 has triggered the scientific community to search for effective vaccines. Collaborative approaches from research institutes and biotech companies have acknowledged the use of viral proteins as potential vaccine candidates against COVID-19. Nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) vaccines are considered the next generation vaccines as they can be rapidly designed to encode any desirable viral sequence including the highly conserved antigen sequences. RNA vaccines being less prone to host genome integration (cons of DNA vaccines) and anti-vector immunity (a compromising factor of viral vectors) offer great potential as front-runners for universal COVID-19 vaccine. The proof of concept for RNA-based vaccines has already been proven in humans, and the prospects for commercialization are very encouraging as well. With the emergence of COVID-19, mRNA-1273, an mRNA vaccine developed by Moderna, Inc. was the first to enter human trials, with the first volunteer receiving the dose within 10 weeks after SARS-CoV-2 genetic sequencing. The recent interest in mRNA vaccines has been fueled by the state of the art technologies that enhance mRNA stability and improve vaccine delivery. Interestingly, as per the "Draft landscape of COVID-19 candidate vaccines" published by the World Health Organization (WHO) on December 29, 2020, seven potential RNA based COVID-19 vaccines are in different stages of clinical trials; of them, two candidates already received emergency use authorization, and another 22 potential candidates are undergoing pre-clinical investigations. This review will shed light on the rationality of RNA as a platform for vaccine development against COVID-19, highlighting the possible pros and cons, lessons learned from the past, and the future prospects.

14.
Mol Ther ; 29(3): 1174-1185, 2021 03 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-985497

ABSTRACT

Self-amplifying RNA (saRNA) is a cutting-edge platform for both nucleic acid vaccines and therapeutics. saRNA is self-adjuvanting, as it activates types I and III interferon (IFN), which enhances the immunogenicity of RNA vaccines but can also lead to inhibition of translation. In this study, we screened a library of saRNA constructs with cis-encoded innate inhibiting proteins (IIPs) and determined the effect on protein expression and immunogenicity. We observed that the PIV-5 V and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) ORF4a proteins enhance protein expression 100- to 500-fold in vitro in IFN-competent HeLa and MRC5 cells. We found that the MERS-CoV ORF4a protein partially abates dose nonlinearity in vivo, and that ruxolitinib, a potent Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) inhibitor, but not the IIPs, enhances protein expression of saRNA in vivo. Both the PIV-5 V and MERS-CoV ORF4a proteins were found to enhance the percentage of resident cells in human skin explants expressing saRNA and completely rescued dose nonlinearity of saRNA. Finally, we observed that the MERS-CoV ORF4a increased the rabies virus (RABV)-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) titer and neutralization half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) by ∼10-fold in rabbits, but not in mice or rats. These experiments provide a proof of concept that IIPs can be directly encoded into saRNA vectors and effectively abate the nonlinear dose dependency and enhance immunogenicity.


Subject(s)
Immunity, Innate/drug effects , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Protein Biosynthesis/drug effects , Vaccines, Synthetic/pharmacology , Viral Envelope Proteins/administration & dosage , Animals , Cell Line , Encephalitis Virus, Venezuelan Equine/drug effects , Encephalitis Virus, Venezuelan Equine/immunology , Encephalitis Virus, Venezuelan Equine/pathogenicity , Fibroblasts , Gene Expression Regulation , HeLa Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/biosynthesis , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/genetics , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/immunology , Janus Kinases/antagonists & inhibitors , Janus Kinases/genetics , Janus Kinases/immunology , Mice , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/drug effects , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/pathogenicity , NF-kappa B/genetics , NF-kappa B/immunology , Nitriles , Parainfluenza Virus 5/drug effects , Parainfluenza Virus 5/immunology , Parainfluenza Virus 5/pathogenicity , Pyrazoles/pharmacology , Pyrimidines , Rabbits , Rabies virus/drug effects , Rabies virus/immunology , Rabies virus/pathogenicity , Rats , STAT Transcription Factors/antagonists & inhibitors , STAT Transcription Factors/genetics , STAT Transcription Factors/immunology , Signal Transduction , Vaccines, Synthetic/biosynthesis , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/immunology
15.
Mol Cancer ; 20(1): 41, 2021 02 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1105714

ABSTRACT

mRNA vaccines have become a promising platform for cancer immunotherapy. During vaccination, naked or vehicle loaded mRNA vaccines efficiently express tumor antigens in antigen-presenting cells (APCs), facilitate APC activation and innate/adaptive immune stimulation. mRNA cancer vaccine precedes other conventional vaccine platforms due to high potency, safe administration, rapid development potentials, and cost-effective manufacturing. However, mRNA vaccine applications have been limited by instability, innate immunogenicity, and inefficient in vivo delivery. Appropriate mRNA structure modifications (i.e., codon optimizations, nucleotide modifications, self-amplifying mRNAs, etc.) and formulation methods (i.e., lipid nanoparticles (LNPs), polymers, peptides, etc.) have been investigated to overcome these issues. Tuning the administration routes and co-delivery of multiple mRNA vaccines with other immunotherapeutic agents (e.g., checkpoint inhibitors) have further boosted the host anti-tumor immunity and increased the likelihood of tumor cell eradication. With the recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals of LNP-loaded mRNA vaccines for the prevention of COVID-19 and the promising therapeutic outcomes of mRNA cancer vaccines achieved in several clinical trials against multiple aggressive solid tumors, we envision the rapid advancing of mRNA vaccines for cancer immunotherapy in the near future. This review provides a detailed overview of the recent progress and existing challenges of mRNA cancer vaccines and future considerations of applying mRNA vaccine for cancer immunotherapies.


Subject(s)
Cancer Vaccines/immunology , Immunotherapy/methods , Neoplasms/therapy , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cancer Vaccines/administration & dosage , Humans , Neoplasms/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Vaccinology/methods , Vaccinology/trends
16.
Mol Cancer ; 20(1): 33, 2021 02 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1088597

ABSTRACT

mRNA vaccines have tremendous potential to fight against cancer and viral diseases due to superiorities in safety, efficacy and industrial production. In recent decades, we have witnessed the development of different kinds of mRNAs by sequence optimization to overcome the disadvantage of excessive mRNA immunogenicity, instability and inefficiency. Based on the immunological study, mRNA vaccines are coupled with immunologic adjuvant and various delivery strategies. Except for sequence optimization, the assistance of mRNA-delivering strategies is another method to stabilize mRNAs and improve their efficacy. The understanding of increasing the antigen reactiveness gains insight into mRNA-induced innate immunity and adaptive immunity without antibody-dependent enhancement activity. Therefore, to address the problem, scientists further exploited carrier-based mRNA vaccines (lipid-based delivery, polymer-based delivery, peptide-based delivery, virus-like replicon particle and cationic nanoemulsion), naked mRNA vaccines and dendritic cells-based mRNA vaccines. The article will discuss the molecular biology of mRNA vaccines and underlying anti-virus and anti-tumor mechanisms, with an introduction of their immunological phenomena, delivery strategies, their importance on Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and related clinical trials against cancer and viral diseases. Finally, we will discuss the challenge of mRNA vaccines against bacterial and parasitic diseases.


Subject(s)
Vaccines, Synthetic/therapeutic use , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , Gene Transfer Techniques , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Immunotherapy , RNA Stability , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology
17.
Pharmaceutics ; 13(2)2021 Feb 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1081806

ABSTRACT

Recent approval of mRNA vaccines to combat COVID-19 have highlighted the potential of this platform. Lipid nanoparticles (LNP) is the delivery vehicle of choice for mRNA as they prevent its enzymatic degradation by encapsulation. We have recently shown that surface exposition of mannose, incorporated in LNPs as stable cholesterol-amine conjugate, enhances the potency of self-amplifying RNA (SAM) replicon vaccines through augmented uptake by antigen presenting cells (APCs). Here, we generated a new set of LNPs whose surface was modified with mannans of different length (from mono to tetrasaccharide), in order to study the effect on antibody response of model SAM replicon encoding for the respiratory syncytial virus fusion F protein. Furthermore, the impact of the mannosylated liposomal delivery through intradermal as well as intramuscular routes was investigated. The vaccine priming response showed to improve consistently with increase in the chain length of mannoses; however, the booster dose response plateaued above the length of disaccharide. An increase in levels of IgG1 and IgG2a was observed for mannnosylated lipid nanoparticles (MLNPs) as compared to LNPs. This work confirms the potential of mannosylated SAM LNPs for both intramuscular and intradermal delivery, and highlights a disaccharide length as sufficient to ensure improved immunogenicity compared to the un-glycosylated delivery system.

18.
Front Immunol ; 11: 608460, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1016061

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the ongoing threat of pandemics caused by novel, previously unrecognized, or mutated pathogens with high transmissibility. Currently, vaccine development is too slow for vaccines to be used in the control of emerging pandemics. RNA-based vaccines might be suitable to meet this challenge. The use of an RNA-based delivery mechanism promises fast vaccine development, clinical approval, and production. The simplicity of in vitro transcription of mRNA suggests potential for fast, scalable, and low-cost manufacture. RNA vaccines are safe in theory and have shown acceptable tolerability in first clinical trials. Immunogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines in phase 1 trials looks promising, however induction of cellular immunity needs to be confirmed and optimized. Further optimization of RNA vaccine modification and formulation to this end is needed, which may also enable single injection regimens to be achievable. Self-amplifying RNA vaccines, which show high immunogenicity at low doses, might help to improve potency while keeping manufacturing costs low and speed high. With theoretical properties of RNA vaccines looking promising, their clinical efficacy is the key remaining question with regard to their suitability for tackling emerging pandemics. This question might be answered by ongoing efficacy trials of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines.


Subject(s)
Pandemics/prevention & control , RNA, Messenger , Vaccines, DNA , Animals , Humans
19.
Bioimpacts ; 11(1): 65-84, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1011938

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is undoubtedly the most challenging pandemic in the current century with more than 293,241 deaths worldwide since its emergence in late 2019 (updated May 13, 2020). COVID-19 is caused by a novel emerged coronavirus named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Today, the world needs crucially to develop a prophylactic vaccine scheme for such emerged and emerging infectious pathogens. Methods: In this study, we have targeted spike (S) glycoprotein, as an important surface antigen to identify its B- and T-cell immunodominant regions. We have conducted a multi-method B-cell epitope (BCE) prediction approach using different predictor algorithms to discover the most potential BCEs. Besides, we sought among a pool of MHC class I and II-associated peptide binders provided by the IEDB server through the strict cut-off values. To design a broad-coverage vaccine, we carried out a population coverage analysis for a set of candidate T-cell epitopes and based on the HLA allele frequency in the top most-affected countries by COVID-19 (update 02 April 2020). Results: The final determined B- and T-cell epitopes were mapped on the S glycoprotein sequence, and three potential hub regions covering the largest number of overlapping epitopes were identified for the vaccine designing (I531-N711; T717-C877; and V883-E973). Here, we have designed two domain-based constructs to be produced and delivered through the recombinant protein- and gene-based approaches, including (i) an adjuvanted domain-based protein vaccine construct (DPVC), and (ii) a self-amplifying mRNA vaccine (SAMV) construct. The safety, stability, and immunogenicity of the DPVC were validated using the integrated sequential (i.e. allergenicity, autoimmunity, and physicochemical features) and structural (i.e. molecular docking between the vaccine and human Toll-like receptors (TLRs) 4 and 5) analysis. The stability of the docked complexes was evaluated using the molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Conclusion: These rigorous in silico validations supported the potential of the DPVC and SAMV to promote both innate and specific immune responses in preclinical studies.

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