Using mRNA to Generate Therapeutic Antibodies in the Brain – Fight Aging!

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Using mRNA to Generate Therapeutic Antibodies in the Brain


It may turn out to be cost-effective to replace delivery of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies with delivery of messenger RNA (mRNA), encapsulated in a lipid nanoparticle or linked to a cell penetrating molecule of some sort in order to reach the desired tissues and be taken up into the cytoplasm. Researchers here consider this in the context of treating Alzheimer’s disease, where the primary thrust of therapeutic development involves the use of antibodies targeting the various protein aggregates thought to contribute to disease progression.



Monoclonal antibodies have emerged as a leading therapeutic agent for the treatment of disease, including Alzheimer’s disease. In the last year, two anti-amyloid monoclonal antibodies, lecanemab and aducanumab, have been approved in the USA for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, whilst several tau-targeting monoclonal antibodies are currently in clinical trials. Such antibodies, however, are expensive and timely to produce and require frequent dosing regimens to ensure disease-modifying effects.



Synthetic in vitro-transcribed mRNA encoding antibodies for endogenous protein expression holds the potential to overcome many of the limitations associated with protein antibody production. Here, we have generated synthetic in vitro-transcribed mRNA encoding a tau specific antibody as a full-sized immunoglobulin and as a single-chain variable fragment. In vitro transfection of human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells demonstrated the ability of the synthetic mRNA to be translated into a functional tau-specific antibody. Furthermore, we show that the translation of the tau-specific single-chain variable fragment as an intrabody results in the specific engagement of intracellular tau.



This work highlights the utility of mRNA for the delivery of antibody therapeutics, including intrabodies, for the targeting of tau in Alzheimer’s disease and other tauopathies.


Link: https://doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcae100

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