MCQs on mRNA vaccines

By | December 16, 2023

Here are 100 multiple choice questions on the mRNA platform:

1. What do mRNA vaccines deliver to cells?
A. Protein antigen
B. Viral vector
C. DNA plasmid
D. Attenuated virus

2. How does the mRNA induce an immune response?
A. It acts as a traditional vaccine
B. Gets translated into viral surface proteins by ribosomes
C. Infects cells and causes mild infection
D. Delivers DNA encoding the antigen

3. What is unique about the mRNA platform compared to traditional vaccines?
A. Does not require egg-based manufacturing
B. Uses a non-replicating viral vector
C. Does not need to be strong/live to provoke an immune response
D. Contains an adjuvant to boost immune response

4. Which organelle in the cell synthesizes proteins from mRNA instructions?
A. Lysosomes
B. Endoplasmic reticulum
C. Mitochondria
D. Ribosomes

5. Why don’t mRNA vaccines integrate into the host cell’s DNA?
A. mRNA cannot enter the nucleus
B. They are rapidly degraded by cell mechanisms
C. Lack reverse transcriptase enzyme
D. Are not taken up by the cell efficiently

6. How were the first FDA-approved mRNA vaccines developed against?
C. Influenza
D. Ebola

7. What is the proposed mechanism by which mRNA vaccines induce immunity against viruses?
A. Activating T-cell responses through antigen presentation
B. Stimulating long-lasting antibody production by B-cells
C. Both A and B
D. Neither A nor B

8. Which component of the mRNA molecule promotes its degradation in the cell?
A. UTR sequence
B. Codon optimization
C. Protein sequence
D. Capping

9. How are mRNA vaccines formulated for delivery into cells?
A. Viral vectors
B. Lipid nanoparticles
C. Viral coats
D. Protein conjugation

10. What organelle in the cell’s cytoplasm degrades mRNA post-translation?
A. Ribosome
B. Endosome
C. Proteasome
D. Lysosome

11. Toxicity concerns with mRNA vaccines relate to potential:
A. Autoimmunity
B. Carcinogenesis
C. Insertional mutagenesis
D. Organellar damage

12. What advantage do mRNA vaccines hold over traditional attenuated/inactivated vaccines?
A. Require fewer doses to achieve immunity
B. Do not carry risk of infection from live strains
C. Can be rapidly developed for emerging pathogens
D. Don’t require eggs or lengthy production time

13. Which cell component recruits the factors necessary for protein translation from mRNA?
A. Ribosomes
B. Proteasome
C. Endoplasmic reticulum
D. Golgi apparatus

14. The RNA sequence that recruits the ribosomal small subunit is called the:
A) 5′ UTR
B) Poly(A) tail
C) Start codon
D) Stop codon

15. mRNA must be stabilized against what endogenous cellular mechanism?
A. Splicing
B. Polyadenylation
C. Transcription
D. Degradation

16. Which of the following has been proposed as a strategy to enhance mRNA vaccine immunogenicity?
A) Incorporating a 5′ cap structure
B) Utilizing intronic sequences
C) Extending the 3′ UTR
D) All of the above

17. What makes mRNA vaccines thermostable and suitable for long-term storage?
A) 5’ cap modification
B) 3’ poly(A) tail
C) UTR optimization
D) Lipid nanoparticle encapsulation

18. Which mRNA modification promotes its recognition by ribosomes?
A) 5′ cap
B) Intronic sequences
C) 3′ poly(A) tail
D) Kozak sequence

19. What modification increases mRNA half-life in the cell cytoplasm?
A) 5’ mRNA cap
B) 3’ poly(A) tail
C) Both A and B
D) Neither A nor B

20. After degradation, the nucleotides released from mRNA are recycled into which pathways?
A) Nucleic acid synthesis
B) Protein synthesis
C) Carbohydrate metabolism
D) Lipid metabolism

21. Untranslated regions on mRNA help regulate its:
A) Transcription
B) Translation
C) Degradation
D) Splicing

22. Which mRNA vaccine delivery system protects the mRNA from nucleases?
A) Exosomes
B) Lipoproteins
C) Lipid nanoparticles
D) Viral vectors

23. Modifying which nucleotide on mRNA prevents it from triggering innate antiviral responses?
A) 5′ ppp
B) Poly(A) tail
C) 3′ m7G cap
D) START codon

24. Which properties allow optimization of mRNAs for increased immunogenicity?
A) Codon usage and nucleotide composition
B) 5’ cap structures
C) 3’ UTR sequences
D) All of the above

25. The poly(A) tail is important for:
A) Endonuclease degradation
B) Export from the nucleus
C) Ribosomal recognition and translation initiation
D) Transcription termination

26. How are proteins traditionally manufactured to mimic naturally occurring mRNA vaccines?
A) Transfection of mammalian cell lines
B) Transcription and translation in bacterial systems
C) In vitro translation using cell lysates
D) Both A and B

27. Safety concerns with mRNA therapeutics relate to their potential to induce:
A) Hypersensitivity reactions
B) Interferences with blood coagulation
C) Off-target effects due to autoimmunity
D) Adjuvant-induced systemic inflammation

28. To which human cellular receptor do the lipid nanoparticles deliver the mRNA payload?
B) CD4
D) Endosomal receptors

29. What is the role of 5′ cap structures on mRNA?
A) Promote nuclease resistance
B) Aid ribosomal binding
C) Both A and B
D) Neither A nor B

30. Inclusion of what motifs in mRNA constructs enhances CD8+ T cell responses?
A) Kozak sequences
B) Poly(A) tails
C) Intronic sequences
D) All of the above

31. Synthetic mRNA approaches advantageous over DNA vaccines include:
A) Rapid degradation prevents risk of gene integration
B) Direct translation avoids nuclear entry and transcriptional hurdles
C) Lower cost than protein subunit vaccines
D) All of the above

32. Which process naturally stabilizes mRNA against RNase degradation?
A) Splicing
B) Polyadenylation
C) 5’ capping
D) Hypermethylation

33. What limits the risk of immunogenicity from foreign mRNA components?
A) Rapid cellular degradation within hours
B) lack of cDNA transcription
C) Absence of viral infection
D) All of the above

34. A Kozak sequence enhances which step during protein synthesis?
A) Initiation
B) Elongation
C) Termination
D) Polyadenylation

35. An example of a novel strategy to enhance mRNA delivery is:
A) Exosome encapsulation
B) Conjugation to antibodies
C) Incorporation of CpG motifs
D) All of the above

36. Concerns over insertional mutagenesis do not apply to mRNA vaccines since they:
A) Contain no DNA
B) Rapidly degrade in the cytoplasm
C) Are not integrated into the host genome
D) All of the above

37. Advantages of RNA over DNA-based vaccines include:
A. RNA does not stably integrate into the host cell genome
B. No need for RNA to access the nucleus to produce the antigen
C. RNA vaccines trigger innate immunity for a stronger effect
D. All of the above

38. In enhancing mRNA translation which modification is most important:
A) 5′ cap
B) 3′ poly(A) tail
C) Codon optimization
D) Intronic sequences

39. A potential complication from immune complexes formed in response to an mRNA vaccine could be:
A) Anaphylaxis
B) Autoimmunity
C) Interference with endogenous mRNA functions
D) Thrombocytopenia

40. What encourages uptake of lipid nanoparticle-encapsulated mRNA by immune cells at the injection site?
A) Positive surface charge
B) Hydrophobicity
C) Myristoylation
D) Mannose receptors

41. A key hurdle mRNA therapeutics must overcome is:
A) Intracellular delivery
B) Toxicity from foreign mRNA
C) Immunogenicity of transfection reagents
D) All of the above

42. Compared to protein-based vaccines, a major advantage of mRNA vaccines is:
A) Rapid global production scale-up ability
B) Room temperature shipping and storage
C) Precise synthesis of immunogenic epitopes
D) Induction of both humoral and cellular immunity

43. The initial inflammatory response triggered by mRNA vaccines involves:
A) IFNs and proinflammatory c