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1.
PLoS One ; 17(8): e0272364, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1987156

ABSTRACT

Neutralizing antibodies targeting the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein have shown a great preventative/therapeutic potential. Here, we report a rapid and efficient strategy for the development and design of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing humanized nanobody constructs with sub-nanomolar affinities and nanomolar potencies. CryoEM-based structural analysis of the nanobodies in complex with spike revealed two distinct binding modes. The most potent nanobody, RBD-1-2G(NCATS-BL8125), tolerates the N501Y RBD mutation and remains capable of neutralizing the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) variant. Molecular dynamics simulations provide a structural basis for understanding the neutralization process of nanobodies exclusively focused on the spike-ACE2 interface with and without the N501Y mutation on RBD. A primary human airway air-lung interface (ALI) ex vivo model showed that RBD-1-2G-Fc antibody treatment was effective at reducing viral burden following WA1 and B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2 infections. Therefore, this presented strategy will serve as a tool to mitigate the threat of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
Bacteriophages , COVID-19 , Single-Domain Antibodies , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Bacteriophages/metabolism , Humans , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
2.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 50(14): 8290-8301, 2022 08 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1931874

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses generate double-stranded (ds) RNA intermediates during viral replication that can activate host immune sensors. To evade activation of the host pattern recognition receptor MDA5, coronaviruses employ Nsp15, which is a uridine-specific endoribonuclease. Nsp15 is proposed to associate with the coronavirus replication-transcription complex within double-membrane vesicles to cleave these dsRNA intermediates. How Nsp15 recognizes and processes dsRNA is poorly understood because previous structural studies of Nsp15 have been limited to small single-stranded (ss) RNA substrates. Here we present cryo-EM structures of SARS-CoV-2 Nsp15 bound to a 52nt dsRNA. We observed that the Nsp15 hexamer forms a platform for engaging dsRNA across multiple protomers. The structures, along with site-directed mutagenesis and RNA cleavage assays revealed critical insight into dsRNA recognition and processing. To process dsRNA Nsp15 utilizes a base-flipping mechanism to properly orient the uridine within the active site for cleavage. Our findings show that Nsp15 is a distinctive endoribonuclease that can cleave both ss- and dsRNA effectively.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Endoribonucleases , Endoribonucleases/metabolism , Humans , RNA, Double-Stranded/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Uridine , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
3.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(18): e2201433119, 2022 05 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815698

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike is a trimer of S1/S2 heterodimers with three receptor-binding domains (RBDs) at the S1 subunit for human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2). Due to their small size, nanobodies can recognize protein cavities that are not accessible to conventional antibodies. To isolate high-affinity nanobodies, large libraries with great diversity are highly desirable. Dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius) are natural reservoirs of coronaviruses like Middle East respiratory syndrome CoV (MERS-CoV) that are transmitted to humans. Here, we built large dromedary camel VHH phage libraries to isolate nanobodies that broadly neutralize SARS-CoV-2 variants. We isolated two VHH nanobodies, NCI-CoV-7A3 (7A3) and NCI-CoV-8A2 (8A2), which have a high affinity for the RBD via targeting nonoverlapping epitopes and show broad neutralization activity against SARS-CoV-2 and its emerging variants of concern. Cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) complex structures revealed that 8A2 binds the RBD in its up mode with a long CDR3 loop directly involved in the ACE2 binding residues and that 7A3 targets a deeply buried region that uniquely extends from the S1 subunit to the apex of the S2 subunit regardless of the conformational state of the RBD. At a dose of ≥5 mg/kg, 7A3 efficiently protected transgenic mice expressing hACE2 from the lethal challenge of variants B.1.351 or B.1.617.2, suggesting its therapeutic use against COVID-19 variants. The dromedary camel VHH phage libraries could be helpful as a unique platform ready for quickly isolating potent nanobodies against future emerging viruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Single-Domain Antibodies , Animals , Camelus , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics
4.
[Unspecified Source]; 2020.
Preprint in English | [Unspecified Source] | ID: ppcovidwho-292791

ABSTRACT

New therapeutics are urgently needed to inhibit SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the on-going Covid-19 pandemic. Nsp15, a uridine-specific endoribonuclease found in all coronaviruses, processes viral RNA to evade detection by RNA-activated host defense systems, making it a promising drug target. Previous work with SARS-CoV-1 established that Nsp15 is active as a hexamer, yet how Nsp15 recognizes and processes viral RNA remains unknown. Here we report a series of cryo-EM reconstructions of SARS-CoV-2 Nsp15. The UTP-bound cryo-EM reconstruction at 3.36 Å resolution provides molecular details into how critical residues within the Nsp15 active site recognize uridine and facilitate catalysis of the phosphodiester bond, whereas the apo-states reveal active site conformational heterogeneity. We further demonstrate the specificity and mechanism of nuclease activity by analyzing Nsp15 products using mass spectrometry. Collectively, these findings advance understanding of how Nsp15 processes viral RNA and provide a structural framework for the development of new therapeutics.

5.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 636, 2021 01 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387325

ABSTRACT

Nsp15, a uridine specific endoribonuclease conserved across coronaviruses, processes viral RNA to evade detection by host defense systems. Crystal structures of Nsp15 from different coronaviruses have shown a common hexameric assembly, yet how the enzyme recognizes and processes RNA remains poorly understood. Here we report a series of cryo-EM reconstructions of SARS-CoV-2 Nsp15, in both apo and UTP-bound states. The cryo-EM reconstructions, combined with biochemistry, mass spectrometry, and molecular dynamics, expose molecular details of how critical active site residues recognize uridine and facilitate catalysis of the phosphodiester bond. Mass spectrometry revealed the accumulation of cyclic phosphate cleavage products, while analysis of the apo and UTP-bound datasets revealed conformational dynamics not observed by crystal structures that are likely important to facilitate substrate recognition and regulate nuclease activity. Collectively, these findings advance understanding of how Nsp15 processes viral RNA and provide a structural framework for the development of new therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Endoribonucleases/chemistry , Endoribonucleases/ultrastructure , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/ultrastructure , Amino Acid Sequence , Catalytic Domain , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Endoribonucleases/metabolism , Models, Chemical , Models, Molecular , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Uridine Triphosphate/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
6.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 49(17): 10136-10149, 2021 09 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1359701

ABSTRACT

Nsp15 is a uridine specific endoribonuclease that coronaviruses employ to cleave viral RNA and evade host immune defense systems. Previous structures of Nsp15 from across Coronaviridae revealed that Nsp15 assembles into a homo-hexamer and has a conserved active site similar to RNase A. Beyond a preference for cleaving RNA 3' of uridines, it is unknown if Nsp15 has any additional substrate preferences. Here, we used cryo-EM to capture structures of Nsp15 bound to RNA in pre- and post-cleavage states. The structures along with molecular dynamics and biochemical assays revealed critical residues involved in substrate specificity, nuclease activity, and oligomerization. Moreover, we determined how the sequence of the RNA substrate dictates cleavage and found that outside of polyU tracts, Nsp15 has a strong preference for purines 3' of the cleaved uridine. This work advances our understanding of how Nsp15 recognizes and processes viral RNA, and will aid in the development of new anti-viral therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Endoribonucleases/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Uridine/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain/genetics , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Crystallography, X-Ray , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Multimerization/physiology , RNA, Viral/genetics , Substrate Specificity
7.
Cell ; 184(11): 2955-2972.e25, 2021 05 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1237636

ABSTRACT

Natural antibodies (Abs) can target host glycans on the surface of pathogens. We studied the evolution of glycan-reactive B cells of rhesus macaques and humans using glycosylated HIV-1 envelope (Env) as a model antigen. 2G12 is a broadly neutralizing Ab (bnAb) that targets a conserved glycan patch on Env of geographically diverse HIV-1 strains using a unique heavy-chain (VH) domain-swapped architecture that results in fragment antigen-binding (Fab) dimerization. Here, we describe HIV-1 Env Fab-dimerized glycan (FDG)-reactive bnAbs without VH-swapped domains from simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV)-infected macaques. FDG Abs also recognized cell-surface glycans on diverse pathogens, including yeast and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike. FDG precursors were expanded by glycan-bearing immunogens in macaques and were abundant in HIV-1-naive humans. Moreover, FDG precursors were predominately mutated IgM+IgD+CD27+, thus suggesting that they originated from a pool of antigen-experienced IgM+ or marginal zone B cells.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , HIV-1/immunology , Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments/immunology , Polysaccharides/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Simian Immunodeficiency Virus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , env Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus/immunology , Animals , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Dimerization , Epitopes/immunology , Glycosylation , HIV Antibodies/immunology , HIV Infections/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments/chemistry , Macaca mulatta , Polysaccharides/chemistry , Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell/chemistry , Simian Immunodeficiency Virus/genetics , Vaccines/immunology , env Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus/chemistry , env Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus/genetics
8.
Nat Struct Mol Biol ; 27(10): 925-933, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-662441

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus (CoV) spike (S) protein, involved in viral-host cell fusion, is the primary immunogenic target for virus neutralization and the current focus of many vaccine design efforts. The highly flexible S-protein, with its mobile domains, presents a moving target to the immune system. Here, to better understand S-protein mobility, we implemented a structure-based vector analysis of available ß-CoV S-protein structures. Despite an overall similarity in domain organization, we found that S-proteins from different ß-CoVs display distinct configurations. Based on this analysis, we developed two soluble ectodomain constructs for the SARS-CoV-2 S-protein, in which the highly immunogenic and mobile receptor binding domain (RBD) is either locked in the all-RBDs 'down' position or adopts 'up' state conformations more readily than the wild-type S-protein. These results demonstrate that the conformation of the S-protein can be controlled via rational design and can provide a framework for the development of engineered CoV S-proteins for vaccine applications.


Subject(s)
Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Binding Sites , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Microscopy, Electron/methods , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Protein Conformation , Protein Domains , Protein Subunits/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
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