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Article

Intracellular Reverse Transcription of Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 In Vitro in Human Liver Cell Line

1
Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, 20502 Malmö, Sweden
2
Infection Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, 22362 Lund, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stephen Malnick
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(3), 1115-1126; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44030073
Received: 18 January 2022 / Revised: 19 February 2022 / Accepted: 23 February 2022 / Published: 25 February 2022
Preclinical studies of COVID-19 mRNA vaccine BNT162b2, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, showed reversible hepatic effects in animals that received the BNT162b2 injection. Furthermore, a recent study showed that SARS-CoV-2 RNA can be reverse-transcribed and integrated into the genome of human cells. In this study, we investigated the effect of BNT162b2 on the human liver cell line Huh7 in vitro. Huh7 cells were exposed to BNT162b2, and quantitative PCR was performed on RNA extracted from the cells. We detected high levels of BNT162b2 in Huh7 cells and changes in gene expression of long interspersed nuclear element-1 (LINE-1), which is an endogenous reverse transcriptase. Immunohistochemistry using antibody binding to LINE-1 open reading frame-1 RNA-binding protein (ORFp1) on Huh7 cells treated with BNT162b2 indicated increased nucleus distribution of LINE-1. PCR on genomic DNA of Huh7 cells exposed to BNT162b2 amplified the DNA sequence unique to BNT162b2. Our results indicate a fast up-take of BNT162b2 into human liver cell line Huh7, leading to changes in LINE-1 expression and distribution. We also show that BNT162b2 mRNA is reverse transcribed intracellularly into DNA in as fast as 6 h upon BNT162b2 exposure. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19 mRNA vaccine; BNT162b2; liver; reverse transcription; LINE-1; Huh7 COVID-19 mRNA vaccine; BNT162b2; liver; reverse transcription; LINE-1; Huh7
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MDPI and ACS Style

Aldén, M.; Olofsson Falla, F.; Yang, D.; Barghouth, M.; Luan, C.; Rasmussen, M.; De Marinis, Y. Intracellular Reverse Transcription of Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 In Vitro in Human Liver Cell Line. Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44, 1115-1126. https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44030073

AMA Style

Aldén M, Olofsson Falla F, Yang D, Barghouth M, Luan C, Rasmussen M, De Marinis Y. Intracellular Reverse Transcription of Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 In Vitro in Human Liver Cell Line. Current Issues in Molecular Biology. 2022; 44(3):1115-1126. https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44030073

Chicago/Turabian Style

Aldén, Markus, Francisko Olofsson Falla, Daowei Yang, Mohammad Barghouth, Cheng Luan, Magnus Rasmussen, and Yang De Marinis. 2022. "Intracellular Reverse Transcription of Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 In Vitro in Human Liver Cell Line" Current Issues in Molecular Biology 44, no. 3: 1115-1126. https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44030073

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