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1.
PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-334725

ABSTRACT

With the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants, there is urgent need to develop broadly neutralizing antibodies. Here, we isolate two V H H nanobodies (7A3 and 8A2) from dromedary camels by phage display, which have high affinity for the receptor-binding domain (RBD) and broad neutralization activities against SARS-CoV-2 and its emerging variants. Cryo-EM complex structures reveal that 8A2 binds the RBD in its up mode and 7A3 inhibits receptor binding by uniquely targeting a highly conserved and deeply buried site in the spike regardless of the RBD conformational state. 7A3 at a dose of a5 mg/kg efficiently protects K18-hACE2 transgenic mice from the lethal challenge of B.1.351 or B.1.617.2, suggesting that the nanobody has promising therapeutic potentials to curb the COVID-19 surge with emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. ONE-SENTENCE SUMMARY: Dromedary camel ( Camelus dromedarius ) V H H phage libraries were built for isolation of the nanobodies that broadly neutralize SARS-CoV-2 variants.

2.
PubMed; 2020.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-333539

ABSTRACT

While vaccine development will hopefully quell the global pandemic of COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2, small molecule drugs that can effectively control SARS-CoV-2 infection are urgently needed. Here, inhibitors of spike (S) mediated cell entry were identified in a high throughput screen of an approved drugs library with SARS-S and MERS-S pseudotyped particle entry assays. We discovered six compounds (cepharanthine, abemaciclib, osimertinib, trimipramine, colforsin, and ingenol) to be broad spectrum inhibitors for spike-mediated entry. This work should contribute to the development of effective treatments against the initial stage of viral infection, thus reducing viral burden in COVID-19 patients. Abstract figure:

3.
MEDLINE; 2022.
Preprint in English | MEDLINE | ID: ppcovidwho-329653

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.

4.
Embase;
Preprint in English | EMBASE | ID: ppcovidwho-326773

ABSTRACT

The cell entry of SARS-CoV-2 has emerged as an attractive drug development target. We previously reported that the entry of SARS-CoV-2 depends on the cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) and the cortex actin, which can be targeted by therapeutic agents identified by conventional drug repurposing screens. However, this drug identification strategy requires laborious library screening, which is time-consuming and often limited number of compounds can be screened. As an alternative approach, we developed and trained a graph convolutional network (GCN)-based classification model using information extracted from experimentally identified HSPG and actin inhibitors. This method allowed us to virtually screen 170,000 compounds, resulting in ∼2000 potential hits. A hit confirmation assay with the uptake of a fluorescently labeled HSPG cargo further shortlisted 256 active compounds. Among them, 16 compounds had modest to strong inhibitory activities against the entry of SARS-CoV-2 pseudotyped particles into Vero E6 cells. These results establish a GCN-based virtual screen workflow for rapid identification of new small molecule inhibitors against validated drug targets.

5.
PUBMED; 2021.
Preprint in English | PUBMED | ID: ppcovidwho-292966

ABSTRACT

With the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants, there is urgent need to develop broadly neutralizing antibodies. Here, we isolate two V H H nanobodies (7A3 and 8A2) from dromedary camels by phage display, which have high affinity for the receptor-binding domain (RBD) and broad neutralization activities against SARS-CoV-2 and its emerging variants. Cryo-EM complex structures reveal that 8A2 binds the RBD in its up mode and 7A3 inhibits receptor binding by uniquely targeting a highly conserved and deeply buried site in the spike regardless of the RBD conformational state. 7A3 at a dose of a5 mg/kg efficiently protects K18-hACE2 transgenic mice from the lethal challenge of B.1.351 or B.1.617.2, suggesting that the nanobody has promising therapeutic potentials to curb the COVID-19 surge with emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. One-Sentence Summary: Dromedary camel ( Camelus dromedarius ) V H H phage libraries were built for isolation of the nanobodies that broadly neutralize SARS-CoV-2 variants.

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