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1.
biorxiv; 2023.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2023.12.12.571160

ABSTRACT

Continuous evolution of SARS-CoV-2 alters the antigenicity of the immunodominant spike (S) receptor-binding domain and N-terminal domain, undermining the efficacy of vaccines and monoclonal antibody therapies. To overcome this challenge, we set out to develop a vaccine focusing antibody responses on the highly conserved but metastable S2 subunit, which folds as a spring-loaded fusion machinery. Here, we describe a protein design strategy enabling prefusion-stabilization of the SARS-CoV-2 S2 subunit and high yield recombinant expression of trimers with native structure and antigenicity. We demonstrate that our design strategy is broadly generalizable to all sarbecoviruses, as exemplified with the SARS-CoV-1 (clade 1a) and PRD-0038 (clade 3) S2 fusion machineries. Immunization of mice with a prefusion-stabilized SARS-CoV-2 S2 trimer vaccine elicits broadly reactive sarbecovirus antibody responses and neutralizing antibody titers of comparable magnitude against Wuhan-Hu-1 and the immune evasive XBB.1.5 variant. Vaccinated mice were protected from weight loss and disease upon challenge with SARS-CoV-2 XBB.1.5, providing proof-of-principle for fusion machinery sarbecovirus vaccines motivating future development.


Subject(s)
Weight Loss
2.
medrxiv; 2023.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2023.10.26.23297626

ABSTRACT

Infections with SARS-CoV-2 and influenza are associated with acute and post-acute complications and sequelae of many organ systems (i.e., disease burden). It is important to understand the global disease burden that associates with and follows acute infection in order to establish preventive and therapeutic strategies and to reduce the use of health resources and improve patient health outcomes. To address these questions, we utilized the National Covid Cohort Collaborative, which is an integrated and harmonized data repository of electronic health record data in the USA. From this database, we included in analysis 346,648 eligible SARS-CoV-2-infected patients, 78,086 eligible influenza infected patients, and 146,635 uninfected controls. We describe the disease burden that extends over 2-3 months following infection, and we quantify the reduction of disease burden by treatment. We identify a burden of disease following medically attended influenza that is comparable to that of medically attended SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, in contrast to SARS-CoV-2, influenza acute infection and disease burden are not responsive to antiviral treatment and thus remain as an unmet medical need. Focusing therapeutic strategies solely on the short-term management of acute infection may also underestimate the extended health benefits of antiviral treatment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19
3.
biorxiv; 2023.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2023.09.12.557371

ABSTRACT

Although Rhinolophus bats harbor diverse clade 3 sarbecoviruses, the structural determinants of receptor tropism along with the antigenicity of their spike (S) glycoproteins remain uncharacterized. Here, we show that the African Rinolophus bat clade 3 sarbecovirus PRD-0038 S has a broad ACE2 usage and that RBD mutations further expand receptor promiscuity and enable human ACE2 utilization. We determined a cryoEM structure of the PRD-0038 RBD bound to R. alcyone ACE2, explaining receptor tropism and highlighting differences with SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2. Characterization of PRD-0038 S using cryoEM and monoclonal antibody reactivity revealed its distinct antigenicity relative to SARS-CoV-2 and identified PRD-0038 cross-neutralizing antibodies for pandemic preparedness. PRD-0038 S vaccination elicited greater titers of antibodies cross-reacting with vaccine-mismatched clade 2 and clade 1a sarbecoviruses compared to SARS-CoV-2 S due to broader antigenic targeting, motivating the inclusion of clade 3 antigens in next-generation vaccines for enhanced resilience to viral evolution.


Subject(s)
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
4.
biorxiv; 2023.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2023.01.17.523798

ABSTRACT

Currently circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants acquired convergent mutations at receptor-binding domain (RBD) hot spots. Their impact on viral infection, transmission, and efficacy of vaccines and therapeutics remains poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that recently emerged BQ.1.1. and XBB.1 variants bind ACE2 with high affinity and promote membrane fusion more efficiently than earlier Omicron variants. Structures of the BQ.1.1 and XBB.1 RBDs bound to human ACE2 and S309 Fab (sotrovimab parent) explain the altered ACE2 recognition and preserved antibody binding through conformational selection. We show that sotrovimab binds avidly to all Omicron variants, promotes Fc-dependent effector functions and protects mice challenged with BQ.1.1, the variant displaying the greatest loss of neutralization. Moreover, in several donors vaccine-elicited plasma antibodies cross-react with and trigger effector functions against Omicron variants despite reduced neutralizing activity. Cross-reactive RBD-directed human memory B cells remained dominant even after two exposures to Omicron spikes, underscoring persistent immune imprinting. Our findings suggest that this previously overlooked class of cross-reactive antibodies, exemplified by S309, may contribute to protection against disease caused by emerging variants through elicitation of effector functions.

5.
biorxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.10.28.513849

ABSTRACT

Mutations carried by SARS-CoV-2 spike protein variants may promote viral escape from immune protection. Humoral immunity is sensitive to evasion by SARS-CoV-2 mutants, but the impact of viral evolution on the interplay between virus and host CD8 T cell reactivity remains uncertain. By a systematic functional analysis of 30 spike variant mutations, we show that in vaccinated as well as convalescent subjects, mutated epitopes can have not only a neutral or abrogating effect on the recognition by CD8 T cells but can also enhance or even generate de novo CD8 T cell responses. Large pools of peptides spanning the entire spike sequence and comprising previously identified CD8 T cell epitopes were then used in parallel with variant peptides to define strength and multispecificity of total anti-spike CD8 responses. In some individuals, CD8 cells were narrowly focused on a few epitopes indicating that in this context of weak and oligospecific responses the overall antiviral protection can likely benefit of the function enhancing effect of heteroclitic-like mutations. In conclusion, appearance of mutated stimulatory epitopes likely reflects an epiphenomenon of SARS-CoV-2 evolution driven by antibody evasion and increased transmissibility, that might bear clinical relevance in a subset of individuals with weak and oligospecific CD8 T cell responses.

6.
biorxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.09.30.509852

ABSTRACT

Memory B cells (MBCs) generate rapid antibody responses upon secondary encounter with a pathogen. Here, we investigated the kinetics, avidity and cross-reactivity of serum antibodies and MBCs in 155 SARS-CoV-2 infected and vaccinated individuals over a 16-month timeframe. SARS-CoV-2-specific MBCs and serum antibodies reached steady-state titers with comparable kinetics in infected and vaccinated individuals. Whereas MBCs of infected individuals targeted both pre- and postfusion Spike (S), most vaccine-elicited MBCs were specific for prefusion S, consistent with the use of prefusion-stabilized S in mRNA vaccines. Furthermore, a large fraction of MBCs recognizing postfusion S cross-reacted with human betacoronaviruses. The avidity of MBC-derived and serum antibodies increased over time resulting in enhanced resilience to viral escape by SARS-CoV-2 variants, including Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 sub-lineages, albeit only partially for BA.4 and BA.5 sublineages. Overall, the maturation of high-affinity and broadly-reactive MBCs provides the basis for effective recall responses to future SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome , Lymphoma, B-Cell , Infections
7.
biorxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.05.08.491108

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 Omicron sublineages carry distinct spike mutations and represent an antigenic shift resulting in escape from antibodies induced by previous infection or vaccination. We show that hybrid immunity or vaccine boosters result in potent plasma neutralizing activity against Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 and that breakthrough infections, but not vaccination-only, induce neutralizing activity in the nasal mucosa. Consistent with immunological imprinting, most antibodies derived from memory B cells or plasma cells of Omicron breakthrough cases cross-react with the Wuhan-Hu-1, BA.1 and BA.2 receptor-binding domains whereas Omicron primary infections elicit B cells of narrow specificity. While most clinical antibodies have reduced neutralization of Omicron, we identified an ultrapotent pan-variant antibody, that is unaffected by any Omicron lineage spike mutations and is a strong candidate for clinical development.


Subject(s)
Breakthrough Pain
8.
biorxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.03.30.486377

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses use diverse Spike (S) glycoproteins to attach to host receptors and fuse with target cells. Using a broad screening approach, we isolated from SARS-CoV-2 immune donors seven monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that bind to all human alpha and beta coronavirus S proteins. These mAbs recognize the fusion peptide and acquire high affinity and breadth through somatic mutations. Despite targeting a conserved motif, only some mAbs show broad neutralizing activity in vitro against alpha and beta coronaviruses, including Omicron BA.1 variant and bat WIV-1, and reduce viral titers and pathology in vivo. Structural and functional analyses show that the fusion peptide-specific mAbs bind with different modalities to a cryptic epitope which is concealed by prefusion-stabilizing 2P mutations and becomes exposed upon binding of ACE2 or ACE2-mimicking mAbs. This study identifies a new class of pan-coronavirus neutralizing mAbs and reveals a receptor-induced conformational change in the S protein that exposes the fusion peptide region.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections
9.
biorxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.03.17.484787

ABSTRACT

Omicron variant strains encode large numbers of changes in the spike protein compared to historical SARS-CoV-2 isolates. Although in vitro studies have suggested that several monoclonal antibody therapies lose neutralizing activity against Omicron variants1-4, the effects in vivo remain largely unknown. Here, we report on the protective efficacy against three SARS-CoV-2 Omicron lineage strains (BA.1, BA.1.1, and BA.2) of two monoclonal antibody therapeutics (S309 [Vir Biotechnology] monotherapy and AZD7442 [AstraZeneca] combination), which correspond to ones used to treat or prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections in humans. Despite losses in neutralization potency in cell culture, S309 or AZD7442 treatments reduced BA.1, BA.1.1, and BA.2 lung infection in susceptible mice that express human ACE2 (K18-hACE2). Correlation analyses between in vitro neutralizing activity and reductions in viral burden in K18-hACE2 or human Fc-gamma receptor transgenic mice suggest that S309 and AZD7442 have different mechanisms of protection against Omicron variants, with S309 utilizing Fc effector function interactions and AZD7442 acting principally by direct neutralization. Our data in mice demonstrate the resilience of S309 and AZD7442 mAbs against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variant strains and provide insight into the relationship between loss of antibody neutralization potency and retained protection in vivo.


Subject(s)
COVID-19
10.
biorxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.03.15.484542

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant of concern comprises three sublineages designated BA.1, BA.2, and BA.3, with BA.2 steadily replacing the globally dominant BA.1. We show that the large number of BA.1 and BA.2 spike mutations severely dampen plasma neutralizing activity elicited by infection or seven clinical vaccines, with cross-neutralization of BA.2 being consistently more potent than that of BA.1, independent of the vaccine platform and number of doses. Although mRNA vaccines induced the greatest magnitude of Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 plasma neutralizing activity, administration of a booster based on the Wuhan-Hu-1 spike sequence markedly increased neutralizing antibody titers and breadth against BA.1 and BA.2 across all vaccines evaluated. Our data suggest that although BA.1 and BA.2 evade polyclonal neutralizing antibody responses, current vaccine boosting regimens may provide sufficient protection against Omicron-induced disease.

11.
biorxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.02.24.481899

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has evolved variants with substitutions in the spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) that impact its affinity for ACE2 receptor and recognition by antibodies. These substitutions could also shape future evolution by modulating the effects of mutations at other sites--a phenomenon called epistasis. To investigate this possibility, we performed deep mutational scans to measure the effects on ACE2 binding of all single amino-acid mutations in the Wuhan-Hu-1, Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Eta variant RBDs. Some substitutions, most prominently N501Y, cause epistatic shifts in the effects of mutations at other sites, thereby shaping subsequent evolutionary change. These epistatic shifts occur despite high conservation of the overall RBD structure. Our data shed light on RBD sequence-function relationships and facilitate interpretation of ongoing SARS-CoV-2 evolution.

12.
biorxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.01.21.477288

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) E406W mutation abrogates neutralization mediated by the REGEN-CoV therapeutic monoclonal antibody (mAb) COVID-19 cocktail and the cilgavimab (AZD1061) mAb. Here, we show that this residue substitution remodels the ACE2-binding site allosterically, thereby dampening receptor recognition severely and altering the epitopes recognized by these three mAbs. Although vaccine-elicited neutralizing antibody titers are decreased similarly against the E406 mutant and the Delta or Epsilon variants, broadly neutralizing sarbecovirus mAbs, including a clinical mAb, inhibit the E406W spike mutant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19
13.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.12.28.474380

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant of concern evades antibody mediated immunity with an unprecedented magnitude due to accumulation of numerous spike mutations. To understand the Omicron antigenic shift, we determined cryo-electron microscopy and X-ray crystal structures of the spike and RBD bound to the broadly neutralizing sarbecovirus monoclonal antibody (mAb) S309 (the parent mAb of sotrovimab) and to the human ACE2 receptor. We provide a structural framework for understanding the marked reduction of binding of all other therapeutic mAbs leading to dampened neutralizing activity. We reveal electrostatic remodeling of the interactions within the spike and those formed between the Omicron RBD and human ACE2, likely explaining enhanced affinity for the host receptor relative to the prototypic virus.

14.
researchsquare; 2021.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-RESEARCHSQUARE | ID: ppzbmed-10.21203.rs.3.rs-1175516.v1

ABSTRACT

The emergence of the highly-transmissible B.1.1.529 Omicron variant of Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is concerning for antibody countermeasure efficacy because of the number of mutations in the spike protein. Here, we tested a panel of anti-receptor binding domain monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) corresponding to those in clinical use by Vir Biotechnology (S309, the parent mAb of VIR-7831 [Sotrovimab]), AstraZeneca (COV2-2196 and COV2-2130, the parent mAbs of AZD8895 and AZD1061), Regeneron (REGN10933 and REGN10987), Lilly (LY-CoV555 and LY-CoV016), and Celltrion (CT-P59) for their ability to neutralize an infectious B.1.1.529 Omicron isolate. Several mAbs (LY-CoV555, LY-CoV016, REGN10933, REGN10987, and CT-P59) completely lost neutralizing activity against B.1.1.529 virus in both Vero-TMPRSS2 and Vero-hACE2-TMPRSS2 cells, whereas others were reduced (COV2-2196 and COV2-2130 combination, ~12-fold decrease) or minimally affected (S309). Our results suggest that several, but not all, of the antibodies in clinical use may lose efficacy against the B.1.1.529 Omicron variant.


Subject(s)
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
15.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.12.21.21268197

ABSTRACT

Understanding who is at risk of progression to severe COVID-19 is key to effective treatment. We studied correlates of disease severity in the COMET-ICE clinical trial that randomized 1:1 to placebo or to sotrovimab, a monoclonal antibody for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Several laboratory parameters identified study participants at greater risk of severe disease, including a high neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), a negative SARS-CoV-2 serologic test and whole blood transcriptome profiles. Sotrovimab treatment in these groups was associated with normalization of NLR and the transcriptomic profile, and with a decrease of viral RNA in nasopharyngeal samples. Transcriptomics provided the most sensitive detection of participants who would go on to be hospitalized or die. To facilitate timely measurement, we identified a 10-gene signature with similar predictive accuracy. In summary, we identified markers of risk for disease progression and demonstrated that normalization of these parameters occurs with antibody treatment of established infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19
16.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.12.19.473391

ABSTRACT

Numerous safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines have been developed that utilize various delivery technologies and engineering strategies. The influence of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) glycoprotein conformation on antibody responses induced by vaccination or infection in humans remains unknown. To address this question, we compared plasma antibodies elicited by six globally-distributed vaccines or infection and observed markedly higher binding titers for vaccines encoding a prefusion-stabilized S relative to other groups. Prefusion S binding titers positively correlated with plasma neutralizing activity, indicating that physical stabilization of the prefusion conformation enhances protection against SARS-CoV-2. We show that almost all plasma neutralizing activity is directed to prefusion S, in particular the S1 subunit, and that variant cross-neutralization is mediated solely by RBD-specific antibodies. Our data provide a quantitative framework for guiding future S engineering efforts to develop vaccines with higher resilience to the emergence of variants and longer durability than current technologies.


Subject(s)
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome , COVID-19
17.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.12.15.472828

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused the global COVID-19 pandemic resulting in millions of deaths worldwide. Despite the development and deployment of highly effective antibody and vaccine countermeasures, rapidly-spreading SARS-CoV-2 variants with mutations at key antigenic sites in the spike protein jeopardize their efficacy. Indeed, the recent emergence of the highly-transmissible B.1.1.529 Omicron variant is especially concerning because of the number of mutations, deletions, and insertions in the spike protein. Here, using a panel of anti-receptor binding domain (RBD) monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) corresponding to those with emergency use authorization (EUA) or in advanced clinical development by Vir Biotechnology (S309, the parent mAbs of VIR-7381), AstraZeneca (COV2-2196 and COV2-2130, the parent mAbs of AZD8895 and AZD1061), Regeneron (REGN10933 and REGN10987), Lilly (LY-CoV555 and LY-CoV016), and Celltrion (CT-P59), we report the impact on neutralization of a prevailing, infectious B.1.1.529 Omicron isolate compared to a historical WA1/2020 D614G strain. Several highly neutralizing mAbs (LY-CoV555, LY-CoV016, REGN10933, REGN10987, and CT-P59) completely lost inhibitory activity against B.1.1.529 virus in both Vero-TMPRSS2 and Vero-hACE2-TMPRSS2 cells, whereas others were reduced (~12-fold decrease, COV2-2196 and COV2-2130 combination) or minimally affected (S309). Our results suggest that several, but not all, of the antibody products in clinical use will lose efficacy against the B.1.1.529 Omicron variant and related strains.


Subject(s)
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome , COVID-19
18.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.12.12.472269

ABSTRACT

The recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant harbors 37 amino acid substitutions in the spike (S) protein, 15 of which are in the receptor-binding domain (RBD), thereby raising concerns about the effectiveness of available vaccines and antibody therapeutics. Here, we show that the Omicron RBD binds to human ACE2 with enhanced affinity relative to the Wuhan-Hu-1 RBD and acquires binding to mouse ACE2. Severe reductions of plasma neutralizing activity were observed against Omicron compared to the ancestral pseudovirus for vaccinated and convalescent individuals. Most (26 out of 29) receptor-binding motif (RBM)-directed monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) lost in vitro neutralizing activity against Omicron, with only three mAbs, including the ACE2-mimicking S2K146 mAb, retaining unaltered potency. Furthermore, a fraction of broadly neutralizing sarbecovirus mAbs recognizing antigenic sites outside the RBM, including sotrovimab, S2X259 and S2H97, neutralized Omicron. The magnitude of Omicron-mediated immune evasion and the acquisition of binding to mouse ACE2 mark a major SARS-CoV-2 mutational shift. Broadly neutralizing sarbecovirus mAbs recognizing epitopes conserved among SARS-CoV-2 variants and other sarbecoviruses may prove key to controlling the ongoing pandemic and future zoonotic spillovers.

19.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.10.25.465646

ABSTRACT

The recent isolation of CCoV-HuPn-2018 from a child respiratory swab indicates that more coronaviruses are spilling over to humans than previously appreciated. Here, we determined cryo-electron microscopy structures of the CCoV-HuPn-2018 spike glycoprotein trimer in two distinct conformational states and identified that it binds canine, feline and porcine aminopeptidase N (APN encoded by ANPEP) orthologs which serve as entry receptors. Introduction of an oligosaccharide at position N739 of human APN renders cells susceptible to CCoV-HuPn-2018 spike-mediated entry, suggesting that single nucleotide polymorphisms could account for the detection of this virus in some individuals. Human polyclonal plasma antibodies elicited by HCoV-229E infection and a porcine coronavirus monoclonal antibody inhibit CCoV-HuPn-2018 S-mediated entry, indicating elicitation of cross-neutralizing activity among -coronaviruses. These data provide a blueprint of the CCoV-HuPn-2018 infection machinery, unveil the viral entry receptor and pave the way for vaccine and therapeutic development targeting this zoonotic pathogen.


Subject(s)
Coronaviridae Infections
20.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.10.13.464254

ABSTRACT

Understanding broadly neutralizing sarbecovirus antibody responses is key to developing countermeasures effective against SARS-CoV-2 variants and future spillovers of other sarbecoviruses. Here we describe the isolation and characterization of a human monoclonal antibody, designated S2K146, broadly neutralizing viruses belonging to all three sarbecovirus clades known to utilize ACE2 as entry receptor and protecting therapeutically against SARS-CoV-2 beta challenge in hamsters. Structural and functional studies show that most of the S2K146 epitope residues are shared with the ACE2 binding site and that the antibody inhibits receptor attachment competitively. Viral passaging experiments underscore an unusually high barrier for emergence of escape mutants making it an ideal candidate for clinical development. These findings unveil a key site of vulnerability for the development of a next generation of vaccines eliciting broad sarbecovirus immunity.

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