What happens with the injected mRNA when cells are in the different stages of the mitosis process? Does the mRNA enter the cell and behaves normally throughout the mitosis phases?


According to this paper written by Abishek Wadhwa and his colleagues, the vaccine mRNA will exert its function independent on active cell division because it is not integrated into the host genome [1].

Interestingly, I also found this paper which indicates that there is a possibility that the mRNA can enter the nucleus during cell division. During the prophase of mitosis, the nuclear membrane is dissolved, allowing mRNA to passively diffuse into and be included within the nucleus later during telophase. In addition, if endogenous reverse transcriptase is present, the mRNA can end up being integrated into the host genome [2].


  1. Wadhwa A, Aljabbari A, Lokras A, Foged C, Thakur A. Opportunities and Challenges in the Delivery of mRNA-based Vaccines. Pharmaceutics. 2020;12(2):102. Published 2020 Jan 28. doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics12020102

  2. Sousa A, José M.M., Velilla A. Z.mRNA, Nanolipid Particles and PEG: A Triad Never Used in Clinical Vaccines is Going to Be Tested on Hundreds of Millions of People. Biomedical. 2021;34(1):2574. Published 2021 Feb 22. doi:10.26717/BJSTR.2021.34.005501

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Please note that the first of these articles was accepted nine days after submission. This suggests it was not properly reviewed. In addition, the publisher of "Pharmaceutics" is "MDPI" — a publisher with a history of poor behavior and minimal peer-review. I would tend to treat articles published in such journals as highly suspect. $\endgroup$
    – tyersome
    Jun 2 at 18:12
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Predatory journals are a huge problem — you can learn more and see lists of predatory journals including the original Beall's List. $\endgroup$
    – tyersome
    Jun 2 at 18:13
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ The second article, by Sousa et al., was published in the "Biomedical Journal of Scientific & Technical Research" which is not peer reviewed and seems to accept any paper if the fees are paid. Among the gems it has published are "The Expression of the Proper-Name Effect Reinforces the Disarticulation ofCommunicative Rationality" and "Nietzsche and the Big Health. The Art as Culture’s Therapy". $\endgroup$
    – mgkrebbs
    Jun 3 at 4:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @mgkrebbs I can't even hazard a guess at the content of the second paper. $\endgroup$
    – Roni Saiba
    Jun 5 at 2:39
  • $\begingroup$ @tyersome The 1st article was accepted about a month after submission (Received 2019 Dec 28; Accepted 2020 Jan 26), and it's a review. The timing does not seem to be an issue, although the publisher certainly may be. $\endgroup$
    – Armand
    Jul 2 at 15:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.