The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has necessitated the rapid development of prophylactic vaccines. Two mRNA vaccines have been approved for emergency use by the FDA and have demonstrated extraordinary effectiveness. The success of these mRNA vaccines establishes the speed of development and therapeutic potential of mRNA. These authorized vaccines encode full-length versions of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. They are formulated with lipid nanoparticle (LNP) delivery vehicles that have inherent immunostimulatory properties. Different vaccination strategies and alternative mRNA delivery vehicles would be desirable to ensure flexibility of future generations of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and the development of mRNA vaccines in general. Here, we report on the development of an alternative mRNA vaccine approach using a delivery vehicle called charge-altering releasable transporters (CARTs). Using these inherently nonimmunogenic vehicles, we can tailor the vaccine immunogenicity by inclusion of coformulated adjuvants such as oligodeoxynucleotides with CpG motifs (CpG-ODN). Mice vaccinated with the mRNA-CART vaccine developed therapeutically relevant levels of receptor binding domain (RBD)-specific neutralizing antibodies in both the circulation and in the lung bronchial fluids. In addition, vaccination elicited strong and long-lasting RBD-specific TH1 T cell responses including CD4+ and CD8+ T cell memory.
View details for DOI 10.1021/acscentsci.1c00361
View details for PubMedID 34341771