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1.
Front Immunol ; 12: 807134, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604257

ABSTRACT

ORF8 is a viral immunoglobulin-like (Ig-like) domain protein encoded by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA genome. It tends to evolve rapidly and interfere with immune responses. However, the structural characteristics of various coronavirus ORF8 proteins and their subsequent effects on biological functions remain unclear. Herein, we determined the crystal structures of SARS-CoV-2 ORF8 (S84) (one of the epidemic isoforms) and the bat coronavirus RaTG13 ORF8 variant at 1.62 Å and 1.76 Å resolution, respectively. Comparison of these ORF8 proteins demonstrates that the 62-77 residues in Ig-like domain of coronavirus ORF8 adopt different conformations. Combined with mutagenesis assays, the residue Cys20 of ORF8 is responsible for forming the covalent disulfide-linked dimer in crystal packing and in vitro biochemical conditions. Furthermore, immune cell-binding assays indicate that various ORF8 (SARS-CoV-2 ORF8 (L84), ORF8 (S84), and RaTG13 ORF8) proteins have different interaction capabilities with human CD14+ monocytes in human peripheral blood. These results provide new insights into the specific characteristics of various coronavirus ORF8 and suggest that ORF8 variants may influence disease-related immune responses.

2.
Microbiol Spectr ; 9(2): e0135221, 2021 10 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526454

ABSTRACT

The emerging new lineages of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) have marked a new phase of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Understanding the recognition mechanisms of potent neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (NAbs) against the spike protein is pivotal for developing new vaccines and antibody drugs. Here, we isolated several monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor-binding domain (S-RBD) from the B cell receptor repertoires of a SARS-CoV-2 convalescent. Among these MAbs, the antibody nCoV617 demonstrates the most potent neutralizing activity against authentic SARS-CoV-2 infection, as well as prophylactic and therapeutic efficacies against the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) transgenic mouse model in vivo. The crystal structure of S-RBD in complex with nCoV617 reveals that nCoV617 mainly binds to the back of the "ridge" of RBD and shares limited binding residues with ACE2. Under the background of the S-trimer model, it potentially binds to both "up" and "down" conformations of S-RBD. In vitro mutagenesis assays show that mutant residues found in the emerging new lineage B.1.1.7 of SARS-CoV-2 do not affect nCoV617 binding to the S-RBD. These results provide a new human-sourced neutralizing antibody against the S-RBD and assist vaccine development. IMPORTANCE COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a serious threat to global health and the economy, so it is necessary to find safe and effective antibody drugs and treatments. The receptor-binding domain (RBD) in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is responsible for binding to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. It contains a variety of dominant neutralizing epitopes and is an important antigen for the development of new coronavirus antibodies. The significance of our research lies in the determination of new epitopes, the discovery of antibodies against RBD, and the evaluation of the antibodies' neutralizing effect. The identified antibodies here may be drug candidates for the development of clinical interventions for SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/antagonists & inhibitors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Binding Sites/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Crystallography, X-Ray , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/immunology , Viral Load/drug effects
3.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 2697, 2021 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225508

ABSTRACT

Although human antibodies elicited by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nucleocapsid (N) protein are profoundly boosted upon infection, little is known about the function of N-reactive antibodies. Herein, we isolate and profile a panel of 32 N protein-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from a quick recovery coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) convalescent patient who has dominant antibody responses to the SARS-CoV-2 N protein rather than to the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein. The complex structure of the N protein RNA binding domain with the highest binding affinity mAb (nCoV396) reveals changes in the epitopes and antigen's allosteric regulation. Functionally, a virus-free complement hyperactivation analysis demonstrates that nCoV396 specifically compromises the N protein-induced complement hyperactivation, which is a risk factor for the morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 patients, thus laying the foundation for the identification of functional anti-N protein mAbs.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/pharmacology , COVID-19/immunology , Complement Activation/drug effects , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Allosteric Regulation , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Affinity , Antigen-Antibody Complex/chemistry , Convalescence , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Crystallography, X-Ray , Epitopes , Humans , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Protein Conformation
4.
iScience ; 24(3): 102187, 2021 Mar 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1093067

ABSTRACT

Dysregulated immune cell responses have been linked to the severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but the specific viral factors of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) were currently unknown. Herein, we reveal that the Immunoglobulin-like fold ectodomain of the viral protein SARS-CoV-2 ORF7a interacts with high efficiency to CD14+ monocytes in human peripheral blood, compared to pathogenic protein SARS-CoV ORF7a. The crystal structure of SARS-CoV-2 ORF7a at 2.2 Å resolution reveals three remarkable changes on the amphipathic side of the four-stranded ß-sheet, implying a potential functional interface of the viral protein. Importantly, SARS-CoV-2 ORF7a coincubation with CD14+ monocytes ex vivo triggered a decrease in HLA-DR/DP/DQ expression levels and upregulated significant production of proinflammatory cytokines, including IL-6, IL-1ß, IL-8, and TNF-α. Our work demonstrates that SARS-CoV-2 ORF7a is an immunomodulating factor for immune cell binding and triggers dramatic inflammatory responses, providing promising therapeutic drug targets for pandemic COVID-19.

5.
Front Chem ; 8: 624765, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1054982

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused massive disruptions to society and the economy, and the transcriptional regulatory mechanisms behind the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are poorly understood. Herein, we determined the crystal structure of the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein C-terminal domain (CTD) at a resolution of 2.0 Å, and demonstrated that the CTD has a comparable distinct electrostatic potential surface to equivalent domains of other reported CoVs, suggesting that the CTD has novel roles in viral RNA binding and transcriptional regulation. Further in vitro biochemical assays demonstrated that the viral genomic intergenic transcriptional regulatory sequences (TRSs) interact with the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein CTD with a flanking region. The unpaired adeno dinucleotide in the TRS stem-loop structure is a major determining factor for their interactions. Taken together, these results suggested that the nucleocapsid protein CTD is responsible for the discontinuous viral transcription mechanism by recognizing the different patterns of viral TRS during transcription.

7.
Acta Pharm Sin B ; 10(7): 1228-1238, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-88717

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus continually lead to worldwide human infections and deaths. Currently, there is no specific viral protein-targeted therapeutics. Viral nucleocapsid protein is a potential antiviral drug target, serving multiple critical functions during the viral life cycle. However, the structural information of SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein remains unclear. Herein, we have determined the 2.7 Å crystal structure of the N-terminal RNA binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein. Although the overall structure is similar as other reported coronavirus nucleocapsid protein N-terminal domain, the surface electrostatic potential characteristics between them are distinct. Further comparison with mild virus type HCoV-OC43 equivalent domain demonstrates a unique potential RNA binding pocket alongside the ß-sheet core. Complemented by in vitro binding studies, our data provide several atomic resolution features of SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein N-terminal domain, guiding the design of novel antiviral agents specific targeting to SARS-CoV-2.

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