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1.
Sci Transl Med ; : eabn1252, 2022 Apr 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1784766

ABSTRACT

New variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continue to arise and prolong the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Here we used a cell-free expression workflow to rapidly screen and optimize constructs containing multiple computationally designed miniprotein inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2. We found the broadest efficacy with a homo-trimeric version of the 75-residue angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) mimic AHB2 (TRI2-2) designed to geometrically match the trimeric spike architecture. In the cryo-electron microscopy structure, TRI2 formed a tripod on top of the spike protein which engaged all three receptor binding domains (RBDs) simultaneously as in the design model. TRI2-2 neutralized Omicron (B.1.1.529), Delta (B.1.617.2), and all other variants tested with greater potency than that of monoclonal antibodies used clinically for the treatment of COVID-19. TRI2-2 also conferred prophylactic and therapeutic protection against SARS-CoV-2 challenge when administered intranasally in mice. Designed miniprotein receptor mimics geometrically arrayed to match pathogen receptor binding sites could be a widely applicable antiviral therapeutic strategy with advantages over antibodies and native receptor traps. By comparison, the designed proteins have resistance to viral escape and antigenic drift by construction, precisely tuned avidity, and greatly reduced chance of autoimmune responses.

2.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 5856, 2022 Apr 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1784021

ABSTRACT

Rapid dissemination of SARS-CoV-2 sequencing data to public repositories has enabled widespread study of viral genomes, but studies of longitudinal specimens from infected persons are relatively limited. Analysis of longitudinal specimens enables understanding of how host immune pressures drive viral evolution in vivo. Here we performed sequencing of 49 longitudinal SARS-CoV-2-positive samples from 20 patients in Washington State collected between March and September of 2020. Viral loads declined over time with an average increase in RT-QPCR cycle threshold of 0.87 per day. We found that there was negligible change in SARS-CoV-2 consensus sequences over time, but identified a number of nonsynonymous variants at low frequencies across the genome. We observed enrichment for a relatively small number of these variants, all of which are now seen in consensus genomes across the globe at low prevalence. In one patient, we saw rapid emergence of various low-level deletion variants at the N-terminal domain of the spike glycoprotein, some of which have previously been shown to be associated with reduced neutralization potency from sera. In a subset of samples that were sequenced using metagenomic methods, differential gene expression analysis showed a downregulation of cytoskeletal genes that was consistent with a loss of ciliated epithelium during infection and recovery. We also identified co-occurrence of bacterial species in samples from multiple hospitalized individuals. These results demonstrate that the intrahost genetic composition of SARS-CoV-2 is dynamic during the course of COVID-19, and highlight the need for continued surveillance and deep sequencing of minor variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/genetics , Genome, Viral , Humans , Metagenome , Metagenomics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
3.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327565

ABSTRACT

The long-term evolution of viruses is ultimately due to viral mutants that arise within infected individuals and transmit to other individuals. Here we use deep sequencing to investigate the transmission of viral genetic variation among individuals during a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak that infected the vast majority of crew members on a fishing boat. We deep-sequenced nasal swabs to characterize the within-host viral population of infected crew members, using experimental duplicates and strict computational filters to ensure accurate variant calling. We find that within-host viral diversity is low in infected crew members. The mutations that did fix in some crew members during the outbreak are not observed at detectable frequencies in any of the sampled crew members in which they are not fixed, suggesting viral evolution involves occasional fixation of low-frequency mutations during transmission rather than persistent maintenance of within-host viral diversity. Overall, our results show that strong transmission bottlenecks dominate viral evolution even during a superspreading event with a very high attack rate.

4.
Nature ; 597(7874): 103-108, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1316713

ABSTRACT

The recent emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern1-10 and the recurrent spillovers of coronaviruses11,12 into the human population highlight the need for broadly neutralizing antibodies that are not affected by the ongoing antigenic drift and that can prevent or treat future zoonotic infections. Here we describe a human monoclonal antibody designated S2X259, which recognizes a highly conserved cryptic epitope of the receptor-binding domain and cross-reacts with spikes from all clades of sarbecovirus. S2X259 broadly neutralizes spike-mediated cell entry of SARS-CoV-2, including variants of concern (B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1, and B.1.427/B.1.429), as well as a wide spectrum of human and potentially zoonotic sarbecoviruses through inhibition of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) binding to the receptor-binding domain. Furthermore, deep-mutational scanning and in vitro escape selection experiments demonstrate that S2X259 possesses an escape profile that is limited to a single substitution, G504D. We show that prophylactic and therapeutic administration of S2X259 protects Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) against challenge with the prototypic SARS-CoV-2 and the B.1.351 variant of concern, which suggests that this monoclonal antibody is a promising candidate for the prevention and treatment of emergent variants and zoonotic infections. Our data reveal a key antigenic site that is targeted by broadly neutralizing antibodies and will guide the design of vaccines that are effective against all sarbecoviruses.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/chemistry , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cross Reactions/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Immune Evasion/genetics , Immune Evasion/immunology , Mesocricetus/immunology , Mesocricetus/virology , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Zoonoses/immunology , Viral Zoonoses/prevention & control , Viral Zoonoses/virology
5.
Nature ; 597(7874): 97-102, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1309448

ABSTRACT

An ideal therapeutic anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody would resist viral escape1-3, have activity against diverse sarbecoviruses4-7, and be highly protective through viral neutralization8-11 and effector functions12,13. Understanding how these properties relate to each other and vary across epitopes would aid the development of therapeutic antibodies and guide vaccine design. Here we comprehensively characterize escape, breadth and potency across a panel of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies targeting the receptor-binding domain (RBD). Despite a trade-off between in vitro neutralization potency and breadth of sarbecovirus binding, we identify neutralizing antibodies with exceptional sarbecovirus breadth and a corresponding resistance to SARS-CoV-2 escape. One of these antibodies, S2H97, binds with high affinity across all sarbecovirus clades to a cryptic epitope and prophylactically protects hamsters from viral challenge. Antibodies that target the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor-binding motif (RBM) typically have poor breadth and are readily escaped by mutations despite high neutralization potency. Nevertheless, we also characterize a potent RBM antibody (S2E128) with breadth across sarbecoviruses related to SARS-CoV-2 and a high barrier to viral escape. These data highlight principles underlying variation in escape, breadth and potency among antibodies that target the RBD, and identify epitopes and features to prioritize for therapeutic development against the current and potential future pandemics.


Subject(s)
Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cross Reactions/immunology , Immune Evasion , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Affinity , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cell Line , Cricetinae , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/genetics , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Female , Humans , Immune Evasion/genetics , Immune Evasion/immunology , Male , Mesocricetus , Middle Aged , Models, Molecular , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccinology
6.
mBio ; 12(2)2021 04 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1183285

ABSTRACT

RNA viruses that replicate in the cytoplasm often disrupt nucleocytoplasmic transport to preferentially translate their own transcripts and prevent host antiviral responses. The Sarbecovirus accessory protein ORF6 has previously been shown to be a major inhibitor of interferon production in both severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Here, we show SARS-CoV-2-infected cells display an elevated level of nuclear mRNA accumulation compared to mock-infected cells. We demonstrate that ORF6 is responsible for this nuclear imprisonment of host mRNA, and using a cotransfected reporter assay, we show this nuclear retention of mRNA blocks expression of newly transcribed mRNAs. ORF6's nuclear entrapment of host mRNA is associated with its ability to copurify with the mRNA export factors, Rae1 and Nup98. These protein-protein interactions map to the C terminus of ORF6 and can be abolished by a single amino acid mutation in Met58. Overexpression of Rae1 restores reporter expression in the presence of SARS-CoV-2 ORF6. SARS-CoV ORF6 also interacts with Rae1 and Nup98. However, SARS-CoV-2 ORF6 more strongly copurifies with Rae1 and Nup98 and results in significantly reduced expression of reporter proteins compared to SARS-CoV ORF6, a potential mechanism for the delayed symptom onset and presymptomatic transmission uniquely associated with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. We also show that both SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 ORF6 block nuclear import of a broad range of host proteins. Together, these data support a model in which ORF6 clogs the nuclear pore through its interactions with Rae1 and Nup98 to prevent both nuclear import and export, rendering host cells incapable of responding to SARS-CoV-2 infection.IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is an RNA virus with a large genome that encodes multiple accessory proteins. While these accessory proteins are not required for growth in vitro, they can contribute to the pathogenicity of the virus. We demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2-infected cells accumulate poly(A) mRNA in the nucleus, which is attributed to the accessory protein ORF6. Nuclear entrapment of mRNA and reduced expression of newly transcribed reporter proteins are associated with ORF6's interactions with the mRNA export proteins Rae1 and Nup98. SARS-CoV ORF6 also shows the same interactions with Rae1 and Nup98. However, SARS-CoV-2 ORF6 more strongly represses reporter expression and copurifies with Rae1 and Nup98 compared to SARS-CoV ORF6. Both SARS-CoV ORF6 and SARS-CoV-2 ORF6 block nuclear import of a wide range of host factors through interactions with Rae1 and Nup98. Together, our results suggest ORF6's disruption of nucleocytoplasmic transport prevents infected cells from responding to the invading virus.


Subject(s)
Cell Nucleus/metabolism , Nuclear Matrix-Associated Proteins/metabolism , Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins/metabolism , Nucleocytoplasmic Transport Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Active Transport, Cell Nucleus , Binding Sites , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Mutation , Nuclear Matrix-Associated Proteins/genetics , Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins/genetics , Nucleocytoplasmic Transport Proteins/genetics , Protein Binding , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/genetics
7.
Science ; 371(6531): 850-854, 2021 02 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1048645

ABSTRACT

Antibodies are a potential therapy for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), but the risk of the virus evolving to escape them remains unclear. Here we map how all mutations to the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 affect binding by the antibodies in the REGN-COV2 cocktail and the antibody LY-CoV016. These complete maps uncover a single amino acid mutation that fully escapes the REGN-COV2 cocktail, which consists of two antibodies, REGN10933 and REGN10987, targeting distinct structural epitopes. The maps also identify viral mutations that are selected in a persistently infected patient treated with REGN-COV2 and during in vitro viral escape selections. Finally, the maps reveal that mutations escaping the individual antibodies are already present in circulating SARS-CoV-2 strains. These complete escape maps enable interpretation of the consequences of mutations observed during viral surveillance.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Amino Acid Substitution , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , Cells, Cultured , Drug Combinations , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Receptors, Coronavirus/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
9.
mBio ; 11(5)2020 10 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-883314

ABSTRACT

The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiological agent of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19), has erupted into a global pandemic that has led to tens of millions of infections and hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide. The development of therapeutics to treat infection or as prophylactics to halt viral transmission and spread is urgently needed. SARS-CoV-2 relies on structural rearrangements within a spike (S) glycoprotein to mediate fusion of the viral and host cell membranes. Here, we describe the development of a lipopeptide that is derived from the C-terminal heptad repeat (HRC) domain of SARS-CoV-2 S that potently inhibits infection by SARS-CoV-2. The lipopeptide inhibits cell-cell fusion mediated by SARS-CoV-2 S and blocks infection by live SARS-CoV-2 in Vero E6 cell monolayers more effectively than previously described lipopeptides. The SARS-CoV-2 lipopeptide exhibits broad-spectrum activity by inhibiting cell-cell fusion mediated by SARS-CoV-1 and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and blocking infection by live MERS-CoV in cell monolayers. We also show that the SARS-CoV-2 HRC-derived lipopeptide potently blocks the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in human airway epithelial (HAE) cultures, an ex vivo model designed to mimic respiratory viral propagation in humans. While viral spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection was widespread in untreated airways, those treated with SARS-CoV-2 HRC lipopeptide showed no detectable evidence of viral spread. These data provide a framework for the development of peptide therapeutics for the treatment of or prophylaxis against SARS-CoV-2 as well as other coronaviruses.IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, continues to spread globally, placing strain on health care systems and resulting in rapidly increasing numbers of cases and mortalities. Despite the growing need for medical intervention, no FDA-approved vaccines are yet available, and treatment has been limited to supportive therapy for the alleviation of symptoms. Entry inhibitors could fill the important role of preventing initial infection and preventing spread. Here, we describe the design, synthesis, and evaluation of a lipopeptide that is derived from the HRC domain of the SARS-CoV-2 S glycoprotein that potently inhibits fusion mediated by SARS-CoV-2 S glycoprotein and blocks infection by live SARS-CoV-2 in both cell monolayers (in vitro) and human airway tissues (ex vivo). Our results highlight the SARS-CoV-2 HRC-derived lipopeptide as a promising therapeutic candidate for SARS-CoV-2 infections.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Lipopeptides/pharmacology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Lipopeptides/chemistry , Membrane Fusion/drug effects , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/chemistry , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/drug effects , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Protein Domains , Respiratory Mucosa/drug effects , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS Virus/chemistry , SARS Virus/drug effects , SARS Virus/physiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Vero Cells
10.
medRxiv ; 2020 Sep 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-835251

ABSTRACT

The rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 has gravely impacted societies around the world. Outbreaks in different parts of the globe are shaped by repeated introductions of new lineages and subsequent local transmission of those lineages. Here, we sequenced 3940 SARS-CoV-2 viral genomes from Washington State to characterize how the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Washington State (USA) was shaped by differences in timing of mitigation strategies across counties, as well as by repeated introductions of viral lineages into the state. Additionally, we show that the increase in frequency of a potentially more transmissible viral variant (614G) over time can potentially be explained by regional mobility differences and multiple introductions of 614G, but not the other variant (614D) into the state. At an individual level, we see evidence of higher viral loads in patients infected with the 614G variant. However, using clinical records data, we do not find any evidence that the 614G variant impacts clinical severity or patient outcomes. Overall, this suggests that at least to date, the behavior of individuals has been more important in shaping the course of the pandemic than changes in the virus.

11.
J Clin Microbiol ; 58(11)2020 10 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-723882

ABSTRACT

The development of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 would be greatly facilitated by the identification of immunological correlates of protection in humans. However, to date, studies on protective immunity have been performed only in animal models and correlates of protection have not been established in humans. Here, we describe an outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 on a fishing vessel associated with a high attack rate. Predeparture serological and viral reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) testing along with repeat testing after return to shore was available for 120 of the 122 persons on board over a median follow-up of 32.5 days (range, 18.8 to 50.5 days). A total of 104 individuals had an RT-PCR-positive viral test with a cycle threshold (CT ) of <35 or seroconverted during the follow-up period, yielding an attack rate on board of 85.2% (104/122 individuals). Metagenomic sequencing of 39 viral genomes suggested that the outbreak originated largely from a single viral clade. Only three crew members tested seropositive prior to the boat's departure in initial serological screening and also had neutralizing and spike-reactive antibodies in follow-up assays. None of the crew members with neutralizing antibody titers showed evidence of bona fide viral infection or experienced any symptoms during the viral outbreak. Therefore, the presence of neutralizing antibodies from prior infection was significantly associated with protection against reinfection (Fisher's exact test, P = 0.002).


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Disease Outbreaks , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/classification , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins , Female , Fisheries , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Incidence , Male , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Pandemics , Phosphoproteins , Phylogeny , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Ships
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