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1.
Nature ; 603(7902): 706-714, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1764186

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.1 variant emerged in 20211 and has multiple mutations in its spike protein2. Here we show that the spike protein of Omicron has a higher affinity for ACE2 compared with Delta, and a marked change in its antigenicity increases Omicron's evasion of therapeutic monoclonal and vaccine-elicited polyclonal neutralizing antibodies after two doses. mRNA vaccination as a third vaccine dose rescues and broadens neutralization. Importantly, the antiviral drugs remdesivir and molnupiravir retain efficacy against Omicron BA.1. Replication was similar for Omicron and Delta virus isolates in human nasal epithelial cultures. However, in lung cells and gut cells, Omicron demonstrated lower replication. Omicron spike protein was less efficiently cleaved compared with Delta. The differences in replication were mapped to the entry efficiency of the virus on the basis of spike-pseudotyped virus assays. The defect in entry of Omicron pseudotyped virus to specific cell types effectively correlated with higher cellular RNA expression of TMPRSS2, and deletion of TMPRSS2 affected Delta entry to a greater extent than Omicron. Furthermore, drug inhibitors targeting specific entry pathways3 demonstrated that the Omicron spike inefficiently uses the cellular protease TMPRSS2, which promotes cell entry through plasma membrane fusion, with greater dependency on cell entry through the endocytic pathway. Consistent with suboptimal S1/S2 cleavage and inability to use TMPRSS2, syncytium formation by the Omicron spike was substantially impaired compared with the Delta spike. The less efficient spike cleavage of Omicron at S1/S2 is associated with a shift in cellular tropism away from TMPRSS2-expressing cells, with implications for altered pathogenesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Membrane Fusion , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Virus Internalization , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cell Line , Cell Membrane/metabolism , Cell Membrane/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Convalescence , Female , Humans , Immune Sera/immunology , Intestines/pathology , Intestines/virology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation , Nasal Mucosa/pathology , Nasal Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Tissue Culture Techniques , Virulence , Virus Replication
2.
Front Immunol ; 12: 748291, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555236

ABSTRACT

Precision monitoring of antibody responses during the COVID-19 pandemic is increasingly important during large scale vaccine rollout and rise in prevalence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-related Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern (VOC). Equally important is defining Correlates of Protection (CoP) for SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease. Data from epidemiological studies and vaccine trials identified virus neutralising antibodies (Nab) and SARS-CoV-2 antigen-specific (notably RBD and S) binding antibodies as candidate CoP. In this study, we used the World Health Organisation (WHO) international standard to benchmark neutralising antibody responses and a large panel of binding antibody assays to compare convalescent sera obtained from: a) COVID-19 patients; b) SARS-CoV-2 seropositive healthcare workers (HCW) and c) seronegative HCW. The ultimate aim of this study is to identify biomarkers of humoral immunity that could be used to differentiate severe from mild or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections. Some of these biomarkers could be used to define CoP in further serological studies using samples from vaccination breakthrough and/or re-infection cases. Whenever suitable, the antibody levels of the samples studied were expressed in International Units (IU) for virus neutralisation assays or in Binding Antibody Units (BAU) for ELISA tests. In this work we used commercial and non-commercial antibody binding assays; a lateral flow test for detection of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG/IgM; a high throughput multiplexed particle flow cytometry assay for SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S), Nucleocapsid (N) and Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) proteins); a multiplex antigen semi-automated immuno-blotting assay measuring IgM, IgA and IgG; a pseudotyped microneutralisation test (pMN) and an electroporation-dependent neutralisation assay (EDNA). Our results indicate that overall, severe COVID-19 patients showed statistically significantly higher levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific neutralising antibodies (average 1029 IU/ml) than those observed in seropositive HCW with mild or asymptomatic infections (379 IU/ml) and that clinical severity scoring, based on WHO guidelines was tightly correlated with neutralisation and RBD/S antibodies. In addition, there was a positive correlation between severity, N-antibody assays and intracellular virus neutralisation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Convalescence , Immunity, Humoral , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Serological Testing/standards , Calibration , Humans , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/blood , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/immunology , Reference Standards , Severity of Illness Index
3.
J Crit Care Med (Targu Mures) ; 7(3): 199-210, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496898

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: In early 2020, at first surge of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many health care workers (HCW) were re-deployed to critical care environments to support intensive care teams looking after patients with severe COVID-19. There was considerable anxiety of increased risk of COVID-19 for these staff. To determine whether critical care HCW were at increased risk of hospital acquired infection, we explored the relationship between workplace, patient facing role and evidence of immune exposure to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) within a quaternary hospital providing a regional critical care response. Routine viral surveillance was not available at this time. METHODS: We screened over 500 HCW (25% of the total workforce) for history of clinical symptoms of possible COVID19, assigning a symptom severity score, and quantified SARS-CoV-2 serum antibodies as evidence of immune exposure to the virus. RESULTS: Whilst 45% of the cohort reported symptoms that they consider may have represented COVID-19, 14% had evidence of immune exposure. Staffs in patient facing critical care roles were least likely to be seropositive (9%) and staff working in non-patient facing roles most likely to be seropositive (22%). Anosmia and fever were the most discriminating symptoms for seropositive status. Older males presented with more severe symptoms. Of the 12 staff screened positive by nasal swab (10 symptomatic), 3 showed no evidence of seroconversion in convalescence. CONCLUSIONS: Patient facing staff working in critical care do not appear to be at increased risk of hospital acquired infection however the risk of nosocomial infection from non-patient facing staff may be more significant than previous recognised. Most symptoms ascribed to possible COVID-19 were found to have no evidence of immune exposure however seroprevalence may underrepresent infection frequency. Older male staff were at the greatest risk of more severe symptoms.

4.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5333, 2021 09 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1402067

ABSTRACT

The Spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 binds ACE2 to direct fusion with host cells. S comprises a large external domain, a transmembrane domain, and a short cytoplasmic tail. Understanding the intracellular trafficking of S is relevant to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and to vaccines expressing full-length S from mRNA or adenovirus vectors. Here we report a proteomic screen for cellular factors that interact with the cytoplasmic tail of S. We confirm interactions with the COPI and COPII vesicle coats, ERM family actin regulators, and the WIPI3 autophagy component. The COPII binding site promotes exit from the endoplasmic reticulum, and although binding to COPI should retain S in the early Golgi where viral budding occurs, there is a suboptimal histidine residue in the recognition motif. As a result, S leaks to the surface where it accumulates and can direct the formation of multinucleate syncytia. Thus, the trafficking signals in the tail of S indicate that syncytia play a role in the SARS-CoV-2 lifecycle.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Cell Membrane/metabolism , Giant Cells/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COP-Coated Vesicles/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Endoplasmic Reticulum/metabolism , Golgi Apparatus/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Proteomics , Vero Cells , Virus Assembly/genetics
5.
Nature ; 599(7883): 114-119, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1392870

ABSTRACT

The B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first identified in the state of Maharashtra in late 2020 and spread throughout India, outcompeting pre-existing lineages including B.1.617.1 (Kappa) and B.1.1.7 (Alpha)1. In vitro, B.1.617.2 is sixfold less sensitive to serum neutralizing antibodies from recovered individuals, and eightfold less sensitive to vaccine-elicited antibodies, compared with wild-type Wuhan-1 bearing D614G. Serum neutralizing titres against B.1.617.2 were lower in ChAdOx1 vaccinees than in BNT162b2 vaccinees. B.1.617.2 spike pseudotyped viruses exhibited compromised sensitivity to monoclonal antibodies to the receptor-binding domain and the amino-terminal domain. B.1.617.2 demonstrated higher replication efficiency than B.1.1.7 in both airway organoid and human airway epithelial systems, associated with B.1.617.2 spike being in a predominantly cleaved state compared with B.1.1.7 spike. The B.1.617.2 spike protein was able to mediate highly efficient syncytium formation that was less sensitive to inhibition by neutralizing antibody, compared with that of wild-type spike. We also observed that B.1.617.2 had higher replication and spike-mediated entry than B.1.617.1, potentially explaining the B.1.617.2 dominance. In an analysis of more than 130 SARS-CoV-2-infected health care workers across three centres in India during a period of mixed lineage circulation, we observed reduced ChAdOx1 vaccine effectiveness against B.1.617.2 relative to non-B.1.617.2, with the caveat of possible residual confounding. Compromised vaccine efficacy against the highly fit and immune-evasive B.1.617.2 Delta variant warrants continued infection control measures in the post-vaccination era.


Subject(s)
Immune Evasion , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Virus Replication/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cell Fusion , Cell Line , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , India , Kinetics , Male , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vaccination
6.
FEBS Lett ; 595(18): 2323-2340, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1332924

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, has triggered a worldwide health emergency. Here, we show that ferritin-like Dps from hyperthermophilic Sulfolobus islandicus, covalently coupled with SARS-CoV-2 antigens via the SpyCatcher system, forms stable multivalent dodecameric vaccine nanoparticles that remain intact even after lyophilisation. Immunisation experiments in mice demonstrated that the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) coupled to Dps (RBD-S-Dps) elicited a higher antibody titre and an enhanced neutralising antibody response compared to monomeric RBD. A single immunisation with RBD-S-Dps completely protected hACE2-expressing mice from serious illness and led to viral clearance from the lungs upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our data highlight that multimerised SARS-CoV-2 subunit vaccines are a highly efficacious modality, particularly when combined with an ultra-stable scaffold.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Receptors, Virus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Bacterial Proteins/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , DNA-Binding Proteins/chemistry , Ferritins/chemistry , Humans , Immunization , Mice , Nanoparticles , Protein Domains , Protein Multimerization , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Sulfolobus
7.
EMBO J ; 40(17): e108588, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1332432

ABSTRACT

The humoral immune response to SARS-CoV-2 results in antibodies against spike (S) and nucleoprotein (N). However, whilst there are widely available neutralization assays for S antibodies, there is no assay for N-antibody activity. Here, we present a simple in vitro method called EDNA (electroporated-antibody-dependent neutralization assay) that provides a quantitative measure of N-antibody activity in unpurified serum from SARS-CoV-2 convalescents. We show that N antibodies neutralize SARS-CoV-2 intracellularly and cell-autonomously but require the cytosolic Fc receptor TRIM21. Using EDNA, we show that low N-antibody titres can be neutralizing, whilst some convalescents possess serum with high titres but weak activity. N-antibody and N-specific T-cell activity correlates within individuals, suggesting N antibodies may protect against SARS-CoV-2 by promoting antigen presentation. This work highlights the potential benefits of N-based vaccines and provides an in vitro assay to allow the antibodies they induce to be tested.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , COVID-19/blood , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Nucleoproteins/blood , Nucleoproteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
8.
J Virol ; 95(15): e0020321, 2021 07 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1305505

ABSTRACT

The majority of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in use or advanced development are based on the viral spike protein (S) as their immunogen. S is present on virions as prefusion trimers in which the receptor binding domain (RBD) is stochastically open or closed. Neutralizing antibodies have been described against both open and closed conformations. The long-term success of vaccination strategies depends upon inducing antibodies that provide long-lasting broad immunity against evolving SARS-CoV-2 strains. Here, we have assessed the results of immunization in a mouse model using an S protein trimer stabilized in the closed state to prevent full exposure of the receptor binding site and therefore interaction with the receptor. We compared this with other modified S protein constructs, including representatives used in current vaccines. We found that all trimeric S proteins induced a T cell response and long-lived, strongly neutralizing antibody responses against 2019 SARS-CoV-2 and variants of concern P.1 and B.1.351. Notably, the protein binding properties of sera induced by the closed spike differed from those induced by standard S protein constructs. Closed S proteins induced more potent neutralizing responses than expected based on the degree to which they inhibit interactions between the RBD and ACE2. These observations suggest that closed spikes recruit different, but equally potent, immune responses than open spikes and that this is likely to include neutralizing antibodies against conformational epitopes present in the closed conformation. We suggest that closed spikes, together with their improved stability and storage properties, may be a valuable component of refined, next-generation vaccines. IMPORTANCE Vaccines in use against SARS-CoV-2 induce immune responses against the spike protein. There is intense interest in whether the antibody response induced by vaccines will be robust against new variants, as well as in next-generation vaccines for use in previously infected or immunized individuals. We assessed the use as an immunogen of a spike protein engineered to be conformationally stabilized in the closed state where the receptor binding site is occluded. Despite occlusion of the receptor binding site, the spike induces potently neutralizing sera against multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants. Antibodies are raised against a different pattern of epitopes to those induced by other spike constructs, preferring conformational epitopes present in the closed conformation. Closed spikes, or mRNA vaccines based on their sequence, can be a valuable component of next-generation vaccines.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Epitopes , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/immunology , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mice , Protein Stability , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
9.
Cell Rep ; 35(13): 109292, 2021 06 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281394

ABSTRACT

We report severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike ΔH69/V70 in multiple independent lineages, often occurring after acquisition of receptor binding motif replacements such as N439K and Y453F, known to increase binding affinity to the ACE2 receptor and confer antibody escape. In vitro, we show that, although ΔH69/V70 itself is not an antibody evasion mechanism, it increases infectivity associated with enhanced incorporation of cleaved spike into virions. ΔH69/V70 is able to partially rescue infectivity of spike proteins that have acquired N439K and Y453F escape mutations by increased spike incorporation. In addition, replacement of the H69 and V70 residues in the Alpha variant B.1.1.7 spike (where ΔH69/V70 occurs naturally) impairs spike incorporation and entry efficiency of the B.1.1.7 spike pseudotyped virus. Alpha variant B.1.1.7 spike mediates faster kinetics of cell-cell fusion than wild-type Wuhan-1 D614G, dependent on ΔH69/V70. Therefore, as ΔH69/V70 compensates for immune escape mutations that impair infectivity, continued surveillance for deletions with functional effects is warranted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immune Evasion , Mutation , Pandemics , Phylogeny , Protein Binding , Recurrence , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vero Cells
10.
EMBO J ; 40(5): e106228, 2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1086195

ABSTRACT

Nucleoprotein (N) is an immunodominant antigen in many enveloped virus infections. While the diagnostic value of anti-N antibodies is clear, their role in immunity is not. This is because while they are non-neutralising, they somehow clear infection by coronavirus, influenza and LCMV in vivo. Here, we show that anti-N immune protection is mediated by the cytosolic Fc receptor and E3 ubiquitin ligase TRIM21. Exploiting LCMV as a model system, we demonstrate that TRIM21 uses anti-N antibodies to target N for cytosolic degradation and generate cytotoxic T cells (CTLs) against N peptide. These CTLs rapidly eliminate N-peptide-displaying cells and drive efficient viral clearance. These results reveal a new mechanism of immune synergy between antibodies and T cells and highlights N as an important vaccine target.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Immunity, Cellular , Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus/immunology , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Ribonucleoproteins/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology , Animals , Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis/genetics , Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis/immunology , Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus/genetics , Mice , Mice, Knockout , Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Ribonucleoproteins/genetics , Viral Vaccines/genetics , Viral Vaccines/immunology
11.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(1): e1009246, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1045566

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infects cells by binding to the host cell receptor ACE2 and undergoing virus-host membrane fusion. Fusion is triggered by the protease TMPRSS2, which processes the viral Spike (S) protein to reveal the fusion peptide. SARS-CoV-2 has evolved a multibasic site at the S1-S2 boundary, which is thought to be cleaved by furin in order to prime S protein for TMPRSS2 processing. Here we show that CRISPR-Cas9 knockout of furin reduces, but does not prevent, the production of infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus. Comparing S processing in furin knockout cells to multibasic site mutants reveals that while loss of furin substantially reduces S1-S2 cleavage it does not prevent it. SARS-CoV-2 S protein also mediates cell-cell fusion, potentially allowing virus to spread virion-independently. We show that loss of furin in either donor or acceptor cells reduces, but does not prevent, TMPRSS2-dependent cell-cell fusion, unlike mutation of the multibasic site that completely prevents syncytia formation. Our results show that while furin promotes both SARS-CoV-2 infectivity and cell-cell spread it is not essential, suggesting furin inhibitors may reduce but not abolish viral spread.


Subject(s)
Cell Fusion , Furin/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Virus Internalization , Animals , COVID-19 , CRISPR-Cas Systems , Chlorocebus aethiops , Gene Knockout Techniques , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Protein Structure, Tertiary , SARS-CoV-2 , Serine Endopeptidases , Vero Cells
12.
Cell Stem Cell ; 27(6): 951-961.e5, 2020 12 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-857180

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus, leads to respiratory symptoms that can be fatal. However, neurological symptoms have also been observed in some patients. The cause of these complications is currently unknown. Here, we use human-pluripotent-stem-cell-derived brain organoids to examine SARS-CoV-2 neurotropism. We find expression of viral receptor ACE2 in mature choroid plexus cells expressing abundant lipoproteins, but not in neurons or other cell types. We challenge organoids with SARS-CoV-2 spike pseudovirus and live virus to demonstrate viral tropism for choroid plexus epithelial cells but little to no infection of neurons or glia. We find that infected cells are apolipoprotein- and ACE2-expressing cells of the choroid plexus epithelial barrier. Finally, we show that infection with SARS-CoV-2 damages the choroid plexus epithelium, leading to leakage across this important barrier that normally prevents entry of pathogens, immune cells, and cytokines into cerebrospinal fluid and the brain.


Subject(s)
Blood-Brain Barrier/virology , Choroid Plexus/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Models, Biological , Organoids/virology , Vero Cells , Viral Tropism , Virus Internalization
13.
Cell Rep Med ; 1(6): 100099, 2020 09 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-738567

ABSTRACT

Rapid COVID-19 diagnosis in the hospital is essential, although this is complicated by 30%-50% of nose/throat swabs being negative by SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT). Furthermore, the D614G spike mutant dominates the pandemic and it is unclear how serological tests designed to detect anti-spike antibodies perform against this variant. We assess the diagnostic accuracy of combined rapid antibody point of care (POC) and nucleic acid assays for suspected COVID-19 disease due to either wild-type or the D614G spike mutant SARS-CoV-2. The overall detection rate for COVID-19 is 79.2% (95% CI 57.8-92.9) by rapid NAAT alone. The combined point of care antibody test and rapid NAAT is not affected by D614G and results in very high sensitivity for COVID-19 diagnosis with very high specificity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Point-of-Care Testing , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Testing/standards , Female , Humans , Immunoassay , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
14.
Nat Struct Mol Biol ; 27(10): 934-941, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-691288

ABSTRACT

The spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 mediates receptor binding and cell entry and is the dominant target of the immune system. It exhibits substantial conformational flexibility. It transitions from closed to open conformations to expose its receptor-binding site and, subsequently, from prefusion to postfusion conformations to mediate fusion of viral and cellular membranes. S-protein derivatives are components of vaccine candidates and diagnostic assays, as well as tools for research into the biology and immunology of SARS-CoV-2. Here we have designed mutations in S that allow the production of thermostable, disulfide-bonded S-protein trimers that are trapped in the closed, prefusion state. Structures of the disulfide-stabilized and non-disulfide-stabilized proteins reveal distinct closed and locked conformations of the S trimer. We demonstrate that the designed, thermostable, closed S trimer can be used in serological assays. This protein has potential applications as a reagent for serology, virology and as an immunogen.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Flow Cytometry/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Disulfides/chemistry , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Protein Conformation , Protein Engineering/methods , Protein Multimerization , Protein Stability , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Temperature
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