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Cell Rep ; 39(13): 111009, 2022 06 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1944463


The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron BA.2 sub-lineage has gained in proportion relative to BA.1. Because spike (S) protein variations may underlie differences in their pathobiology, here we determine cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) structures of the BA.2 S ectodomain and compare these with previously determined BA.1 S structures. BA.2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) mutations induce remodeling of the RBD structure, resulting in tighter packing and improved thermostability. Interprotomer RBD interactions are enhanced in the closed (or 3-RBD-down) BA.2 S, while the fusion peptide is less accessible to antibodies than in BA.1. Binding and pseudovirus neutralization assays reveal extensive immune evasion while defining epitopes of two outer RBD face-binding antibodies, DH1044 and DH1193, that neutralize both BA.1 and BA.2. Taken together, our results indicate that stabilization of the closed state through interprotomer RBD-RBD packing is a hallmark of the Omicron variant and show differences in key functional regions in the BA.1 and BA.2 S proteins.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Humans , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
Mol Cell ; 82(11): 2050-2068.e6, 2022 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1937002


Aided by extensive spike protein mutation, the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant overtook the previously dominant Delta variant. Spike conformation plays an essential role in SARS-CoV-2 evolution via changes in receptor-binding domain (RBD) and neutralizing antibody epitope presentation, affecting virus transmissibility and immune evasion. Here, we determine cryo-EM structures of the Omicron and Delta spikes to understand the conformational impacts of mutations in each. The Omicron spike structure revealed an unusually tightly packed RBD organization with long range impacts that were not observed in the Delta spike. Binding and crystallography revealed increased flexibility at the functionally critical fusion peptide site in the Omicron spike. These results reveal a highly evolved Omicron spike architecture with possible impacts on its high levels of immune evasion and transmissibility.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Humans , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry