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Eur J Immunol. 2005 May;35(5):1557-66.

Toll-like receptor-dependent activation of several human blood cell types by protamine-condensed mRNA.

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1
CureVac GmbH, Tübingen, Germany.

Abstract

We reported that RNA condensed on protamine is protected from RNase-mediated degradation and can be used for vaccination. Here, we show that such complexes are also danger signals that activate mouse cells through a MyD88-dependent pathway. Moreover, mRNA-protamine complexes stimulate human blood cells. They strongly activate DC and monocytes, leading to TNF-alpha and IFN-alpha secretion. In addition, protamine-RNA complexes directly activate B cells, NK cells and granulocytes. The detailed analysis of the activated cell types, the study of the cytokines released from PBMC cultured with protamine-RNA complexes and recently published results suggest that TLR-7 and TLR-8 may be involved in the recognition of protamine-stabilized RNA. Our data indicate that protamine-stabilized RNA, which may be similar to RNA condensed in the nucleocapsids of RNA viruses, is a strong danger signal. Thus, similarly to plasmid DNA, protamine-RNA combines antigen production and non-specific immunostimulation. The studies presented here explain the capacity of protamine-RNA to act as a vaccine, and pave the way towards the development of safe and efficient mRNA-based immunotherapies.

PMID:
15832293
DOI:
10.1002/eji.200425656
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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