Preparation of mRNA Polyplexes with Post-conjugated Endosome-Disruptive Peptides

Methods Mol Biol. 2021;2355:275-286. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-1617-8_21.


Successful delivery of mRNA into the cytosol of professional antigen-presenting cells (APCs) poses one of the biggest challenges in developing effective mRNA vaccines to treat various cancers and viral infectious diseases. However, most polymeric mRNA delivery systems fail to transfect APCs. We have discovered that decoration of pH-sensitive endosome-disruptive GALA peptides on the surface of mRNA polyplexes leads to efficient targeting and transfection of APCs. GALA peptides not only enhance specific uptake in APCs through binding to sialic acid moieties, they also facilitate the endosomal escape of mRNA especially in dendritic cells (DCs). Here, we describe in detail the production of stabilized mRNA polyplexes post-conjugated with GALA peptides via copper-free click chemistry. Methods described here include the synthesis and purification of GALA peptides and its conjugation to mRNA polyplexes.

Keywords: Click chemistry; GALA peptide; Nanoparticle surface decoration; Peptide conjugation; Post-PEGylation; Post-modification; mRNA polyplexes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Endosomes*
  • Peptides
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Transfection
  • mRNA Vaccines


  • Peptides
  • RNA, Messenger
  • mRNA Vaccines