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Design and Development of Modified mRNA Encoding Core Antigen of Hepatitis C Virus: a Possible Application in Vaccine Production
Zarin Sharifnia , Mojgan Bandehpour , Bahram Kazemi , Nosratollah Zarghami
Abstract:  
Introduction: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a ‎blood-borne pathogen, resulting in liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. Despite of many efforts in development of treatments for HCV, no vaccine has been licensed yet. The purpose of this study was ‎to design and prepare a specific mRNA, without 5' cap and poly (A) tail transcribed in vitro capable of coding core protein and also to determine its functionality. Methods: Candidate mRNA was prepared by in vitro transcription of the designed construct consisting of ‎‎5ʹ and 3ʹ untranslated regions of heat shock proteins 70 (hsp70) mRNA, T7 promoter, internal ribosome entry site (IRES) sequences of eIF4G related to human dendritic cells (DCs), and the ‎Core gene of HCV. To design the modified mRNA, the ‎‎5' cap and poly (A) tail structure was not considered. DCs were transfected by in vitro-transcribed messenger RNA (IVT-mRNA) and the expressions of green fluorescent protein (GFP), and Core genes were determined by microscopic examination and Western blotting assay. Results: Cell transfection results showed that despite the absence of ‎‎5' cap and poly (A) tail, the structure of the mRNA ‎was stable. Moreover, the successful expressions of GFP and Core genes were achieved. Conclusion: Our findings indicated the effectiveness of a designed IVT-mRNA harboring the Core gene of HCV in transfecting and expressing the antigens in DCs. Considering the simple and efficient protocol for the preparation of this IVT-mRNA and its effectiveness in expressing the gene that it carries, this IVT-mRNA could be suitable for development of an RNA vaccine against HCV.
Keywords: Hepatitis C, Messenger, RNA, Vaccines
Full-Text [PDF 1174 kb]      
Type of Study: Full Length | Subject: Medical Biotechnology
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