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2.
J Virol ; 96(20): e0116222, 2022 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2063976

ABSTRACT

Mutations at spike protein L452 are recurrently observed in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern (VOC), including omicron lineages. It remains elusive how amino acid substitutions at L452 are selected in VOC. Here, we characterized all 19 possible mutations at this site and revealed that five mutants expressing the amino acids Q, K, H, M, and R gained greater fusogenicity and pseudovirus infectivity, whereas other mutants failed to maintain steady-state expression levels and/or pseudovirus infectivity. Moreover, the five mutants showed decreased sensitivity toward neutralization by vaccine-induced antisera and conferred escape from T cell recognition. Contrary to expectations, sequence data retrieved from the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) revealed that the naturally occurring L452 mutations were limited to Q, M, and R, all of which can arise from a single nucleotide change. Collectively, these findings highlight that the codon base change mutational barrier is a prerequisite for amino acid substitutions at L452, in addition to the phenotypic advantages of viral fitness and decreased sensitivity to host immunity. IMPORTANCE In a span of less than 3 years since the declaration of the coronavirus pandemic, numerous SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern have emerged all around the globe, fueling a surge in the number of cases and deaths that caused severe strain on the health care system. A major concern is whether viral evolution eventually promotes greater fitness advantages, transmissibility, and immune escape. In this study, we addressed the differential effect of amino acid substitutions at a frequent mutation site, L452 of SARS-CoV-2 spike, on viral antigenic and immunological profiles and demonstrated how the virus evolves to select one amino acid over the others to ensure better viral infectivity and immune evasion. Identifying such virus mutation signatures could be crucial for the preparedness of future interventions to control COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Amino Acid Substitution , Immune Sera , Amino Acids/genetics , Nucleotides , Mutation
3.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 5440, 2022 09 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2036820

ABSTRACT

Although the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus shows resistance to neutralizing antibody, it retains susceptibility to the cellular immune response. Here we characterize vaccine-induced T cells specific for various SARS-CoV-2 variants and identified HLA-A*24:02-restricted CD8+ T cells that strongly suppress Omicron BA.1 replication in vitro. Mutagenesis analyses revealed that a G446S mutation, located just outside the N-terminus of the cognate epitope, augmented TCR recognition of this variant. In contrast, no enhanced suppression of replication is observed against cells infected with the prototype, Omicron BA.2, and Delta variants that express G446. The enhancing effect of the G446S mutation is lost when target cells are treated with inhibitors of tripeptidyl peptidase II, a protein that mediates antigen processing. These ex vivo analysis and in vitro results demonstrate that the G446S mutation in the Omicron BA.1 variant affects antigen processing/presentation and potentiates antiviral activity by vaccine-induced T cells, leading to enhanced T cell recognition towards emerging variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Antiviral Agents , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Epitopes , Humans , Mutation , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
4.
MAbs ; 14(1): 2072455, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1839974

ABSTRACT

Many potent neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 antibodies have been developed and used for therapies. However, the effectiveness of many antibodies has been reduced against recently emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, especially the Omicron variant. We identified a highly potent SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody, UT28K, in COVID-19 convalescent individuals who recovered from a severe condition. UT28K showed efficacy in neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 in an in vitro assay and in vivo prophylactic treatment, and the reactivity to the Omicron strain was reduced. The structural analyses revealed that antibody UT28K Fab and SARS-CoV-2 RBD protein interactions were mainly chain-dominated antigen-antibody interactions. In addition, a mutation analysis suggested that the emergence of a UT28K neutralization-resistant SARS-CoV-2 variant was unlikely, as this variant would likely lose its competitive advantage over circulating SARS-CoV-2. Our data suggest that UT28K offers potent protection against SARS-CoV-2, including newly emerging variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans
5.
Virol J ; 18(1): 16, 2021 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1059645

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus that emerged in 2019 and is now classified in the genus Coronavirus with closely related SARS-CoV. SARS-CoV-2 is highly pathogenic in humans and is classified as a biosafety level (BSL)-3 pathogen, which makes manipulating it relatively difficult due to its infectious nature. METHODS: To circumvent the need for BSL-3 laboratories, an alternative assay was developed that avoids live virus and instead uses a recombinant VSV expressing luciferase and possesses the full length or truncated spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, to measure SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies under BSL2 conditions, a chemiluminescence reduction neutralization test (CRNT) for SARS-CoV-2 was developed. The neutralization values of the serum samples collected from hospitalized patients with COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 PCR-negative donors against the pseudotyped virus infection evaluated by the CRNT were compared with antibody titers determined from an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or an immunofluorescence assay (IFA). RESULTS: The CRNT, which used whole blood collected from hospitalized patients with COVID-19, was also examined. As a result, the inhibition of pseudotyped virus infection was specifically observed in both serum and whole blood and was also correlated with the results of the IFA. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the CRNT for COVID-19 is a convenient assay system that can be performed in a BSL-2 laboratory with high specificity and sensitivity for evaluating the occurrence of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/blood , Neutralization Tests/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Line , Convalescence , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Luminescence , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
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