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1.
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.

2.
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.

3.
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.

4.
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.

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