There are currently approximately 4,000 mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 S protein gene and emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants continue to spread rapidly worldwide. Universal vaccines with high efficacy and safety urgently need to be developed to prevent SARS-CoV-2 variants pandemic. Here, we described a novel self-assembling universal mRNA vaccine containing a heterologous receptor-binding domain (HRBD)-based dodecamer (HRBDdodecamer) against SARS-CoV-2 variants, including Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), Gamma (B., Delta (B.1.617.2) and Omicron (B.1.1.529). HRBD containing four heterologous RBD (Delta, Beta, Gamma, and Wild-type) can form a stable dodecameric conformation under T4 trimerization tag (Flodon, FD). The HRBDdodecamer -encoding mRNA was then encapsulated into the newly-constructed LNPs consisting of a novel ionizable lipid (4N4T). The obtained universal mRNA vaccine (4N4T-HRBDdodecamer) presented higher efficiency in mRNA transfection and expression than the approved ALC-0315 LNPs, initiating potent immune protection against the immune escape of SARS-CoV-2 caused by evolutionary mutation. These findings demonstrated the first evidence that structure-based antigen design and mRNA delivery carrier optimization may facilitate the development of effective universal mRNA vaccines to tackle SARS-CoV-2 variants pandemic.

Fuente: Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B
Available online 12 January 2023