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1.
J Virol ; 96(4): e0157821, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1759290

ABSTRACT

The ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic poses a severe global threat to public health, as do influenza viruses and other coronaviruses. Here, we present chimpanzee adenovirus 68 (AdC68)-based vaccines designed to universally target coronaviruses and influenza. Our design is centered on an immunogen generated by fusing the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) to the conserved stalk of H7N9 hemagglutinin (HA). Remarkably, the constructed vaccine effectively induced both SARS-CoV-2-targeting antibodies and anti-influenza antibodies in mice, consequently affording protection from lethal SARS-CoV-2 and H7N9 challenges as well as effective H3N2 control. We propose our AdC68-vectored coronavirus-influenza vaccine as a universal approach toward curbing respiratory virus-causing pandemics. IMPORTANCE The COVID-19 pandemic exemplifies the severe public health threats of respiratory virus infection and influenza A viruses. The currently envisioned strategy for the prevention of respiratory virus-causing diseases requires the comprehensive administration of vaccines tailored for individual viruses. Here, we present an alternative strategy by designing chimpanzee adenovirus 68-based vaccines which target both the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding-domain and the conserved stalk of influenza hemagglutinin. When tested in mice, this strategy attained potent neutralizing antibodies against wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and its emerging variants, enabling an effective protection against lethal SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Notably, it also provided complete protection from lethal H7N9 challenge and efficient control of H3N2-induced morbidity. Our study opens a new avenue to universally curb respiratory virus infection by vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Influenza A Virus, H7N9 Subtype/immunology , Influenza Vaccines , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , /immunology , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H7N9 Subtype/genetics , Influenza Vaccines/genetics , Influenza Vaccines/immunology , Influenza Vaccines/pharmacology , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred ICR , Mice, Transgenic , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/epidemiology , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/genetics , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/immunology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
2.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-324633

ABSTRACT

The receptor-binding domain (RBD) variants of SARS-CoV-2 could impair antibody-mediated neutralization of the virus by host immunity;thus, prospective surveillance for such antibody escape mutants is urgently needed. Here, we comprehensively profiled four antigenic sites of the RBD and mapped the binding hot spots for a panel of RBD-specific monoclonal antibodies isolated from COVID-19 convalescents, especially dominant VH3-53/3–66 antibodies, which are valuable indicators of antigenic changes in the RBD. We further demonstrated that several natural mutations, namely, K417N, F486L, N450K, L452R, E484K, F490S and R346S, significantly decreased the neutralizing activity of multiple human monoclonal antibodies and of human convalescent plasma obtained in the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of note, among the natural escape mutations, L452R enhanced ACE2 binding affinity, indicating that it potentially increased virulence. Overall, the in-depth maps may have far-reaching value for surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 immune escape variants and guidance of vaccine design.

3.
Cell Discov ; 8(1): 9, 2022 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1661959

ABSTRACT

Safe, effective, and economical vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are needed to achieve adequate herd immunity and end the pandemic. We constructed a novel SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, CoVac501, which is a self-adjuvanting peptide vaccine conjugated with Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) agonists. The vaccine contains immunodominant peptides screened from the receptor-binding domain (RBD) and is fully chemically synthesized. It has been formulated in an optimized nanoemulsion formulation and is stable at 40 °C for 1 month. In non-human primates (NHPs), CoVac501 elicited high and persistent titers of protective neutralizing antibodies against multiple RBD mutations, SARS-CoV-2 original strain, and variants (B.1.1.7 and B.1.617.2). Specific peptides booster immunization against the B.1.351 variant has also been shown to be effective in improving protection against B.1.351. Meanwhile, CoVac501 elicited the increase of memory T cells, antigen-specific CD8+ T-cell responses, and Th1-biased CD4+ T-cell immune responses in NHPs. Notably, at an extremely high SARS-CoV-2 challenge dose of 1 × 107 TCID50, CoVac501 provided near-complete protection for the upper and lower respiratory tracts of cynomolgus macaques.

4.
Front Nutr ; 8: 789242, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1639197

ABSTRACT

Boosting and prolonging SARS-CoV-2 vaccine-elicited immunity is paramount for containing the COVID-19 pandemic, which wanes substantially within months after vaccination. Here we demonstrate that the unique strain of probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum GUANKE (LPG) could promote SARS-CoV-2-specific immune responses in both effective and memory phases through enhancing interferon signaling and suppressing apoptotic and inflammatory pathways. Interestingly, oral LPG administration promoted SARS-CoV-2 neutralization antibodies even 6 months after immunization. Furthermore, when LPG was given immediately after SARS-CoV-2 vaccine inoculation, specific neutralization antibodies could be boosted >8-fold in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and >2-fold in sera, T-cell responses were persistent and stable for a prolonged period both in BAL and the spleen. Transcriptional analyses showed that oral application of LPG mobilized immune responses in the mucosal and systemic compartments; in particular, gut-spleen and gut-lung immune axes were observed. These results suggest that LPG could be applied in combination with SARS-CoV-2 vaccines to boost and prolong both the effective and memory immune responses in mucosal and systemic compartments, thereby improving the efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination.

5.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(50)2021 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555255

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), binds to host receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) through its spike (S) glycoprotein, which mediates membrane fusion and viral entry. However, the expression of ACE2 is extremely low in a variety of human tissues, especially in the airways. Thus, other coreceptors and/or cofactors on the surface of host cells may contribute to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here, we identified nonmuscle myosin heavy chain IIA (MYH9) as an important host factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection of human pulmonary cells by using APEX2 proximity-labeling techniques. Genetic ablation of MYH9 significantly reduced SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus infection in wild type (WT) A549 and Calu-3 cells, and overexpression of MYH9 enhanced the pseudovirus infection in WT A549 and H1299 cells. MYH9 was colocalized with the SARS-CoV-2 S and directly interacted with SARS-CoV-2 S through the S2 subunit and S1-NTD (N-terminal domain) by its C-terminal domain (designated as PRA). Further experiments suggested that endosomal or myosin inhibitors effectively block the viral entry of SARS-CoV-2 into PRA-A549 cells, while transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) and cathepsin B and L (CatB/L) inhibitors do not, indicating that MYH9 promotes SARS-CoV-2 endocytosis and bypasses TMPRSS2 and CatB/L pathway. Finally, we demonstrated that loss of MYH9 reduces authentic SARS-CoV-2 infection in Calu-3, ACE2-A549, and ACE2-H1299 cells. Together, our results suggest that MYH9 is a candidate host factor for SARS-CoV-2, which mediates the virus entering host cells by endocytosis in an ACE2-dependent manner, and may serve as a potential target for future clinical intervention strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Myosin Heavy Chains/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Cell Line , Cell Membrane/metabolism , Humans , Lung/metabolism , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , Myosin Heavy Chains/chemistry , Myosin Heavy Chains/genetics , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , SARS Virus/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization
6.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296092

ABSTRACT

The recurrent outbreak of coronaviruses and variants underscores the need for broadly reactive antivirals and vaccines. Here, a novel broad-spectrum human antibody named 76E1 was isolated from a COVID-19 convalescent patient and showed broad neutralization activity against multiple α- and β-coronaviruses, including the SARS-CoV-2 variants and also exhibited the binding breath to peptides containing the epitope from γ- and δ- coronaviruses. 76E1 cross-protects mice from SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV-OC43 infection in both prophylactic and treatment models. The epitope including the fusion peptide and S2’ cleavage site recognized by 76E1 was significantly conserved among α-, β-, γ- and δ- coronaviruses. We uncovered a novel mechanism of antibody neutralization that the epitope of 76E1 was proportionally less exposed in the prefusion trimeric structure of spike protein but could be unmasked by binding to the receptor ACE2. Once the epitope exposed, 76E1 inhibited S2’ cleavage, thus blocked the membrane fusion process. Our data demonstrate a key epitope targeted by broadly-neutralizing antibodies and will guide next-generation epitope-based pan-coronavirus vaccine design.

7.
Genome Med ; 13(1): 164, 2021 10 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542128

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The receptor-binding domain (RBD) variants of SARS-CoV-2 could impair antibody-mediated neutralization of the virus by host immunity; thus, prospective surveillance of antibody escape mutants and understanding the evolution of RBD are urgently needed. METHODS: Using the single B cell cloning technology, we isolated and characterized 93 RBD-specific antibodies from the memory B cells of four COVID-19 convalescent individuals in the early stage of the pandemic. Then, global RBD alanine scanning with a panel of 19 selected neutralizing antibodies (NAbs), including several broadly reactive NAbs, was performed. Furthermore, we assessed the impact of single natural mutation or co-mutations of concern at key positions of RBD on the neutralization escape and ACE2 binding function by recombinant proteins and pseudoviruses. RESULTS: Thirty-three amino acid positions within four independent antigenic sites (1 to 4) of RBD were identified as valuable indicators of antigenic changes in the RBD. The comprehensive escape mutation map not only confirms the widely circulating strains carrying important immune escape RBD mutations such as K417N, E484K, and L452R, but also facilitates the discovery of new immune escape-enabling mutations such as F486L, N450K, F490S, and R346S. Of note, these escape mutations could not affect the ACE2 binding affinity of RBD, among which L452R even enhanced binding. Furthermore, we showed that RBD co-mutations K417N, E484K, and N501Y present in B.1.351 appear more resistant to NAbs and human convalescent plasma from the early stage of the pandemic, possibly due to an additive effect. Conversely, double mutations E484Q and L452R present in B.1.617.1 variant show partial antibody evasion with no evidence for an additive effect. CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides a global view of the determinants for neutralizing antibody recognition, antigenic conservation, and RBD conformation. The in-depth escape maps may have value for prospective surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 immune escape variants. Special attention should be paid to the accumulation of co-mutations at distinct major antigenic sites. Finally, the new broadly reactive NAbs described here represent new potential opportunities for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 , Immune Evasion , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Adult , Aged , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
8.
Vaccine ; 39(48): 7001-7011, 2021 11 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488001

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the public health and social economy worldwide. A safe, effective, and affordable vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 infections/diseases is urgently needed. We have been developing a recombinant vaccine based on a prefusion-stabilized spike trimer of SARS-CoV-2 and formulated with aluminium hydroxide and CpG 7909. The spike protein was expressed in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, purified, and prepared as a stable formulation with the dual adjuvant. Immunogenicity studies showed that candidate vaccines elicited robust neutralizing antibody responses and substantial CD4+ T cell responses in both mice and non-human primates. And vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies persisted at high level for at least 6 months. Challenge studies demonstrated that candidate vaccine reduced the viral loads and inflammation in the lungs of SARS-CoV-2 infected golden Syrian hamsters significantly. In addition, the vaccine-induced antibodies showed cross-neutralization activity against B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants. These data suggest candidate vaccine is efficacious in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infections and associated pneumonia, thereby justifying ongoing phase I/II clinical studies in China (NCT04982068 and NCT04990544).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Alum Compounds , Aluminum Hydroxide , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , CHO Cells , Cricetinae , Cricetulus , Humans , Mice , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
9.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 10(1): 1555-1573, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1324547

ABSTRACT

To curb the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), multiple platforms have been employed toward a safe and highly effective vaccine. Here, we develop a novel cell-based vaccine candidate, namely K562-S, by utilizing human cell K562 as a cellular carrier to display Spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 on the membrane. Analogous to the traditional inactivated vaccine, K562-S cells can be propagated to a large scale by culturing and completely lose their viability after exposure to X-ray irradiation or formalin. We in turn demonstrated high immunogenicity of formalin-inactivated K562-S vaccine in both mouse and non-human primates and its protective efficacy in mice. In mice, immunization with inactivated K562-S vaccines can elicit potent neutralizing antibody (nAb) responses persisting longer than 5 months. We consequently showed in a hACE2 mouse model of SARS-CoV-2 infection that a two-shot vaccination with adjuvanted K562-S rendered greater than 3 log reduction in viral lung load and concomitant ameliorated lung pathology. Of importance, the administration of the same regimen in non-human primates was able to induce a neutralizing antibody titer averaging three-fold higher relative to human convalescent serum. These results together support the promise of K562-based, S-protein-expressing vaccines as a novel vaccination approach against SARS-CoV-2. Importantly, with a powerful capacity to carry external genes for cell-based vectors, this platform could rapidly generate two- and multiple-valent vaccines by incorporating SARS-CoV-2 mutants, SARS-CoV, or MERS-CoV.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Animals, Genetically Modified , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , K562 Cells , Macaca mulatta , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Inbred ICR , Primates , Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/administration & dosage , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination/methods , Vaccines, Inactivated/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Inactivated/immunology
10.
J Infect Dis ; 223(4): 568-580, 2021 02 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1101847

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The immune protective mechanisms during severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infection remain to be deciphered for the development of an effective intervention approach. METHODS: We examined early responses of interleukin 37 (IL-37), a powerful anti-inflammatory cytokine, in 254 SARS-CoV-2-infected patients before any clinical intervention and determined its correlation with clinical prognosis. RESULTS: Our results demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 infection causes elevation of plasma IL-37. Higher early IL-37 responses were correlated with earlier viral RNA negative conversion, chest computed tomographic improvement, and cough relief, consequently resulted in earlier hospital discharge. Further assays showed that higher IL-37 was associated with lower interleukin 6 and interleukin 8 (IL-8) and higher interferon α responses and facilitated biochemical homeostasis. Low IL-37 responses predicted severe clinical prognosis in combination with IL-8 and C-reactive protein. In addition, we observed that IL-37 administration was able to attenuate lung inflammation and alleviate respiratory tissue damage in human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2-transgenic mice infected with SARS-CoV-2. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, we found that IL-37 plays a protective role by antagonizing inflammatory responses while retaining type I interferon, thereby maintaining the functionalities of vital organs. IL-37, IL-8, and C-reactive protein might be formulated as a precise prediction model for screening severe clinical cases and have good value in clinical practice.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Interleukin-1/blood , Adult , Animals , C-Reactive Protein/metabolism , COVID-19/blood , Female , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/virology , Interleukin-8/blood , Male , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Middle Aged
11.
EClinicalMedicine ; 27: 100547, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-898762

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Epidemic outbreaks caused by SARS-CoV-2 are worsening around the world, and there are no target drugs to treat COVID-19. IFN-κ inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2; and TFF2 is a small secreted polypeptide that promotes the repair of mucosal injury and reduces the inflammatory responses. We used the synergistic effect of both proteins to treat COVID-19. METHODS: We conducted an open-label, randomized, clinical trial involving patients with moderate COVID-19. Patients were assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive either aerosol inhalation treatment with IFN-κ and TFF2 every 24 h for six consecutive dosages in addition to standard care (experimental group) or standard care alone (control group). The primary endpoint was the time until a viral RNA negative conversion for SARS-CoV-2 in all clinical samples. The secondary clinical endpoint was the time of CT imaging improvement. Data analysis was performed per protocol. This study was registered with chictr.org.cn, ChiCTR2000030262. FINDINGS: Between March 23 and May 23 of 2020, 86 COVID-19 patients with symptoms of moderate illness were recruited, and 6 patients were excluded due to not matching the inclusion criteria (patients with pneumonia through chest radiography). Among the remaining 80 patients, 40 patients were assigned to experimental group, and the others were assigned to control group to only receive standard care. Efficacy and safety were evaluated for both groups. The time of viral RNA negative conversion in experimental group (Mean, 3·80 days, 95% CI 2·07-5·53), was significantly shorter than that in control group (7·40 days, 95% CI 4·57 to 10·23) (p = 0.031), and difference between means was 3·60 days. The percentage of patients in experimental group with reversion to negative viral RNA was significantly increased compared with control group on all sampling days (every day during the 12-day observation period) (p = 0·037). For the secondary endpoint, the experimental group had a significantly shorter time until improvement was seen by CT (Mean 6·21 days, N = 38/40, 95% CI 5·11-7·31) than that in control group (8·76 days, N = 34/40, 95% CI 7·57-9·96) (p = 0.002), and difference between means was 2·55 days. No discomfort or complications during aerosol inhalation were reported to the nurses by any experimental patients. INTERPRETATION: In conclusion, we found that aerosol inhalation of IFN-κ plus TFF2 in combination with standard care is safe and superior to standard care alone in shortening the time up to viral RNA negative conversion in all clinical samples. In addition, the patients in experimental group had a significantly shortened CT imaging improvement time than those in control group. This study suggested that this combination treatment is able to facilitate clinical improvement (negative for virus, improvement by CT, reduced hospitalization stay) and thereby result in an early release from the hospital. These data support the need for exploration with a large-scale trial of IFN-κ plus TFF2 to treat COVID-19. FUNDING: Funding was provided by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, National Major Project for Control and Prevention of Infectious Disease in China, Shanghai Science and Technology Commission, Shanghai Municipal Health Commission.

12.
Biosens Bioelectron ; 171: 112685, 2021 Jan 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-891295

ABSTRACT

The spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus in the ongoing global pandemic has led to infections of millions of people and losses of many lives. The rapid, accurate and convenient SARS-CoV-2 virus detection is crucial for controlling and stopping the pandemic. Diagnosis of patients in the early stage infection are so far limited to viral nucleic acid or antigen detection in human nasopharyngeal swab or saliva samples. Here we developed a method for rapid and direct optical measurement of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles in one step nearly without any sample preparation using a spike protein specific nanoplasmonic resonance sensor. As low as 370 vp/mL were detected in one step within 15 min and the virus concentration can be quantified linearly in the range of 0 to 107 vp/mL. Measurements shown on both generic microplate reader and a handheld smartphone connected device suggest that our low-cost and rapid detection method may be adopted quickly under both regular clinical environment and resource-limited settings.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Biosensing Techniques/instrumentation , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Point-of-Care Testing , Virion/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Immobilized/chemistry , Biosensing Techniques/economics , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/economics , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Equipment Design , Humans , Limit of Detection , Models, Molecular , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/analysis , Time Factors
14.
Cell Rep ; 32(3): 107918, 2020 07 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-625076

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a worldwide threat to humans, and neutralizing antibodies have therapeutic potential. We have purified more than 1,000 memory B cells specific to SARS-CoV-2 S1 or its RBD (receptor binding domain) and obtain 729 paired heavy- and light-chain fragments. Among these, 178 antibodies test positive for antigen binding, and the majority of the top 17 binders with EC50 below 1 nM are RBD binders. Furthermore, we identify 11 neutralizing antibodies, eight of which show IC50 within 10 nM, and the best one, 414-1, with IC50 of 1.75 nM. Through epitope mapping, we find three main epitopes in RBD recognized by these antibodies, and epitope-B antibody 553-15 could substantially enhance the neutralizing abilities of most of the other antibodies. We also find that 515-5 could cross neutralize the SARS-CoV pseudovirus. Altogether, our study provides 11 potent human neutralizing antibodies for COVID-19 as therapeutic candidates.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Receptors, Virus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Epitope Mapping , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Immunologic Memory/immunology , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Protein Domains/immunology , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Cell Mol Immunol ; 17(6): 621-630, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-262594

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the novel human coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, is currently a major threat to public health worldwide. The viral spike protein binds the host receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) via the receptor-binding domain (RBD), and thus is believed to be a major target to block viral entry. Both SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV share this mechanism. Here we functionally analyzed the key amino acid residues located within receptor binding motif of RBD that may interact with human ACE2 and available neutralizing antibodies. The in vivo experiments showed that immunization with either the SARS-CoV RBD or SARS-CoV-2 RBD was able to induce strong clade-specific neutralizing antibodies in mice; however, the cross-neutralizing activity was much weaker, indicating that there are distinct antigenic features in the RBDs of the two viruses. This finding was confirmed with the available neutralizing monoclonal antibodies against SARS-CoV or SARS-CoV-2. It is worth noting that a newly developed SARS-CoV-2 human antibody, HA001, was able to neutralize SARS-CoV-2, but failed to recognize SARS-CoV. Moreover, the potential epitope residues of HA001 were identified as A475 and F486 in the SARS-CoV-2 RBD, representing new binding sites for neutralizing antibodies. Overall, our study has revealed the presence of different key epitopes between SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, which indicates the necessity to develop new prophylactic vaccine and antibody drugs for specific control of the COVID-19 pandemic although the available agents obtained from the SARS-CoV study are unneglectable.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Amino Acid Motifs , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Betacoronavirus/physiology , Binding Sites , Cross Reactions , Epitopes , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/immunology , Receptors, Coronavirus , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Virus Internalization
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