A synthetic DNA template for fast manufacturing of versatile single epitope mRNA

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A flexible, affordable, and rapid vaccine platform is necessary to unlock the potential of personalized cancer vaccines in order to achieve full clinical efficiency. mRNA cancer vaccine manufacture relies on the rigid sequence design of multiepitope constructs produced by laborious bacterial cloning and time-consuming plasmid preparation. Here, we introduce a synthetic DNA template (SDT) assembly process, which allows cost- and time-efficient manufacturing of single (neo)epitope mRNA. We benchmarked SDT-derived mRNA against mRNA derived from a plasmid DNA template (PDT), showing that monocyte-derived dendritic cells (moDCs) electroporated with SDT-mRNA or PDT-mRNA, encoding HLA-I- or HLA-II-restricted (neo)epitopes, equally activated T cells that were modified to express the cognate T cell receptors. Furthermore, we validated the SDT-mRNA platform for neoepitope immunogenicity screening using the characterized HLA-A2-restricted neoepitope DHX40B and four new candidate HLA-A2-restricted melanoma neoepitopes. Finally, we compared SDT-mRNA with PDT-mRNA for vaccine development purposes. moDCs electroporated with mRNA encoding the HLA-A2-restricted, mutated Melan-A/Mart-1 epitope together with TriMix mRNA-generated high levels of functional Melan-A/Mart-1-specific CD8+ T cells. In conclusion, SDT single epitope mRNA can be manufactured in a more flexible, cost-efficient, and time-efficient way compared with PDT-mRNA, allowing prompt neoepitope immunogenicity screening, and might be exploited for the development of personalized cancer vaccines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)943-954
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Therapy Nucleic Acids
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Authors.


  • MT: Oligonucleotides: Therapies and Applications
  • T cell
  • cancer
  • mRNA
  • neoantigen
  • synthetic DNA template


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