mRNA Engineering for the Control of Mammalian Cells in Medical Applications

  • Kei Endo
  • Hirohide Saito


Messenger RNA (mRNA) is an important carrier of genetic information and shows increasing medical application potential. The transfer of in vitro synthesized mRNA molecules into cells enables the expression of genes of interest without unexpected damage to the genomic DNA that risks cellular defects or tumorigenesis. Along with forcing the expression of external genes, engineered mRNAs can detect intracellular information for the artificial regulation of gene expressions. These features indicate the potential of mRNAs as central devices to engineer and control cells both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, such devices can act as components of complex and sophisticated cellular systems or networks. In this article, we summarize recent advances in mRNA engineering and their application in the biomedical field and discuss future perspectives concerning mRNA-based biotechnology.


Translation mRNA engineering Cell engineering Riboswitch microRNA Gene network Synthetic biology 



The authors thank Dr. Peter Karagiannis for his critical comments and language editing on the original version of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computational Biology and Medical Sciences, Graduate School of Frontier SciencesThe University of TokyoKashiwaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Life Science Frontiers, Center for iPS Cell Research and ApplicationKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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