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1.
Mol Ther ; 2022 Aug 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1977919

ABSTRACT

Adenovirus vector vaccines have been widely and successfully deployed in response to COVID-19. However, despite inducing potent T cell immunity, improvement of vaccine-specific antibody responses upon homologous boosting is modest compared to other technologies. Here, we describe a system enabling modular decoration of adenovirus capsid surfaces with antigens and demonstrate potent induction of humoral immunity against these displayed antigens. Ligand attachment via a covalent bond was achieved using a protein superglue, DogTag/DogCatcher (similar to SpyTag/SpyCatcher), in a rapid and spontaneous reaction requiring only co-incubation of ligand and vector components. DogTag was inserted into surface-exposed loops in the adenovirus hexon protein to allow attachment of DogCatcher-fused ligands on virus particles. Efficient coverage of the capsid surface was achieved using various ligands, with vector infectivity retained in each case. Capsid decoration shielded particles from vector neutralizing antibodies. In prime-boost regimens, adenovirus vectors decorated with the receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 spike induced >10-fold higher SARS-CoV-2 neutralization titers compared to an undecorated vector encoding spike. Importantly, decorated vectors achieved equivalent or superior T cell immunogenicity against encoded antigens compared to undecorated vectors. We propose capsid decoration using protein superglues as a novel strategy to improve efficacy and boostability of adenovirus-based vaccines and therapeutics.

2.
Sci Adv ; 8(11): eabl6015, 2022 Mar 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1745843

ABSTRACT

Authorized vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 remain less available in low- and middle-income countries due to insufficient supply, high costs, and storage requirements. Global immunity could still benefit from new vaccines using widely available, safe adjuvants, such as alum and protein subunits, suited to low-cost production in existing manufacturing facilities. Here, a clinical-stage vaccine candidate comprising a SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain-hepatitis B surface antigen virus-like particle elicited protective immunity in cynomolgus macaques. Titers of neutralizing antibodies (>104) induced by this candidate were above the range of protection for other licensed vaccines in nonhuman primates. Including CpG 1018 did not significantly improve the immunological responses. Vaccinated animals challenged with SARS-CoV-2 showed reduced median viral loads in bronchoalveolar lavage (~3.4 log10) and nasal mucosa (~2.9 log10) versus sham controls. These data support the potential benefit of this design for a low-cost modular vaccine platform for SARS-CoV-2 and other variants of concern or betacoronaviruses.

3.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327777

ABSTRACT

Adenovirus vector vaccines have been widely and successfully deployed in response to COVID-19. However, despite inducing potent T cell immunity, improvement of vaccine-specific antibody responses upon homologous boosting is modest compared to other technologies. Here, we describe a system to enable modular decoration of adenovirus capsid surfaces with protein antigens and demonstrate induction of potent humoral immunity against these displayed antigens. Ligand attachment via a covalent isopeptide bond was achieved in a rapid and spontaneous reaction, requiring simple co-incubation of ligand and vector components. We used a recently described protein superglue, DogTag/DogCatcher, which is similar to the widely used SpyTag/SpyCatcher ligation system but performs better in loop structures. DogTag was inserted into surface-exposed loops in the adenovirus hexon protein to allow attachment of DogCatcher-fused ligands on virus particles. Efficient coverage of the capsid surface was achieved using a variety of ligands and vector infectivity was retained in each case. Capsid decoration shielded particles from anti-adenovirus neutralizing antibodies. In prime-boost regimens, proof-of-concept COVID-19 adenovirus vaccines decorated with the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 spike induced >10-fold higher SARS-CoV-2 neutralization titers compared to an undecorated adenovirus vector encoding spike. Importantly, decorated vectors retained robust T cell immunogenicity to encoded antigens, a key hallmark of adenovirus vector vaccines. We propose capsid decoration via protein superglue-mediated covalent ligation as a novel strategy to improve the efficacy and boostability of adenovirus-based vaccines and therapeutics.

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