Developing mRNA-vaccine technologies

RNA Biol. 2012 Nov;9(11):1319-30. doi: 10.4161/rna.22269. Epub 2012 Oct 12.


mRNA vaccines combine desirable immunological properties with an outstanding safety profile and the unmet flexibility of genetic vaccines. Based on in situ protein expression, mRNA vaccines are capable of inducing a balanced immune response comprising both cellular and humoral immunity while not subject to MHC haplotype restriction. In addition, mRNA is an intrinsically safe vector as it is a minimal and only transient carrier of information that does not interact with the genome. Because any protein can be expressed from mRNA without the need to adjust the production process, mRNA vaccines also offer maximum flexibility with respect to development. Taken together, mRNA presents a promising vector that may well become the basis of a game-changing vaccine technology platform. Here, we outline the current knowledge regarding different aspects that should be considered when developing an mRNA-based vaccine technology.

Keywords: adjuvant; formulation; mRNA; mRNA design; mRNA production; mRNA uptake; protein expression; vaccine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic*
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • RNA, Messenger / administration & dosage
  • RNA, Messenger / immunology*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / immunology*


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Vaccines, Synthetic