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1.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-321742

ABSTRACT

Both natural infection with SARS-CoV-2 and immunization with a number of vaccines induce protective immunity. However, the ability of such immune responses to recognize and therefore protect against emerging variants is a matter of increasing importance. Such variants of concern (VOC) include isolates of lineage B1.1.7, first identified in the UK, and B1.351, first identified in South Africa. Our data confirm that VOC, particularly those with substitutions at residues 484 and 417 escape neutralization by antibodies directed to the ACE2-binding Class 1 and the adjacent Class 2 epitopes but are susceptible to neutralization by the generally less potent antibodies directed to Class 3 and 4 epitopes on the flanks RBD. To address this potential threat, we sampled a SARS-CoV-2 uninfected UK cohort recently vaccinated with BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech, two doses delivered 18-28 days apart), alongside a cohort naturally infected in the first wave of the epidemic in Spring 2020. We tested antibody and T cell responses against a reference isolate (VIC001) representing the original circulating lineage B and the impact of sequence variation in these two VOCs. We identified a reduction in antibody neutralization against the VOCs which was most evident in the B1.351 variant. However, the majority of the T cell response was directed against epitopes conserved across all three strains. The reduction in antibody neutralization was less marked in post-boost vaccine-induced than in naturally-induced immune responses and could be largely explained by the potency of the homotypic antibody response. However, after a single vaccination, which induced only modestly neutralizing homotypic antibody titres, neutralization against the VOCs was completely abrogated in the majority of vaccinees. These data indicate that VOCs may evade protective neutralising responses induced by prior infection, and to a lesser extent by immunization, particularly after a single vaccine, but the impact of the VOCs on T cell responses appears less marked. The results emphasize the need to generate high potency immune responses through vaccination in order to provide protection against these and other emergent variants. We observed that two doses of vaccine also induced a significant increase in binding antibodies to spike of both SARS-CoV-1 & MERS, in addition to the four common coronaviruses currently circulating in the UK. The impact of antigenic imprinting on the potency of humoral and cellular heterotypic protection generated by the next generation of variant-directed vaccines remains to be determined.

2.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-321741

ABSTRACT

Both natural infection with SARS-CoV-2 and immunization with vaccines induce protective immunity. However, the extent to which such immune responses protect against emerging variants is of increasing importance. Such variants of concern (VOC) include isolates of lineage B.1.1.7, first identified in the UK, and B.1.351, first identified in South Africa. Our data confirm that VOC, particularly those with substitutions at residues 484 and 417, escape neutralization by antibodies directed to the ACE2-binding Class 1 and the adjacent Class 2 epitopes but are susceptible to neutralization by the generally less potent antibodies directed to Class 3 and 4 epitopes on the flanks of the receptor-binding domain. To address the potential threat posed by VOC, we sampled a SARS-CoV-2 uninfected UK cohort recently vaccinated with BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech, two doses delivered 18-28 days apart), alongside a cohort sampled in the early convalescent stages after natural infection in the first wave of the pandemic in Spring 2020. We tested antibody and T cell responses against a reference isolate of the original circulating lineage, B, and the impact of sequence variation in the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 VOC. Neutralization of the VOC compared to B isolate was reduced, and this was most evident for the B.1.351 isolate. This reduction in antibody neutralization was less marked in post-boost vaccine-induced responses compared to naturally induced immune responses and could be largely explained by the potency of the homotypic antibody response. After a single vaccination, which induced only modestly neutralizing homotypic antibody titres, neutralization against the VOC was completely abrogated in the majority of vaccinees. Importantly, high magnitude T cell responses were generated after two vaccine doses, with the majority of the T cell response directed against epitopes that are conserved between the prototype isolate B and the VOC. These data indicate that VOC may evade protective neutralizing responses induced by prior infection, and to a lesser extent by immunization, particularly after a single vaccine dose, but the impact of the VOC on T cell responses appears less marked. The results emphasize the need to generate high potency immune responses through vaccination in order to provide protection against these and other emergent variants.

3.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-312806

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 virus is more transmissible than previous coronaviruses and causes a more serious illness than seasonal flu. The SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) of the Spike protein binds to the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor as a prelude to viral entry into the cell. Using a naïve llama single chain nanobody library and PCR maturation we have produced a nanobody, H11-D4, with a KD 9 nM for RBD that blocks the binding of RBD to the ACE2. Single particle cryo-electron microscopy revealed that H11-D4 binds to each of the three RBDs in the Spike trimer. The 1.8 Å crystal structure of the H11-D4 – RBD complex has illuminated the molecular interactions that drive the high affinity. H11-D4 binds to an epitope on RBD that overlaps with the ACE2 binding, explaining the blocking of ACE2 binding. The nanobody showed potent neutralising activity against live SARS-CoV-2 virus.

4.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-305590

ABSTRACT

Background: Laboratory diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection (the cause of COVID-19) uses PCR to detect viral RNA (vRNA) in respiratory samples. SARS-CoV-2 RNA has also been detected in other sample types, but there is limited understanding of the clinical or laboratory significance of its detection in blood. Methods: We undertook a systematic literature review to assimilate the evidence for the frequency of vRNA in blood, and to identify associated clinical characteristics. We performed RT-PCR in serum samples from a UK clinical cohort of acute and convalescent COVID-19 cases (n=212), together with convalescent plasma samples collected by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) (n=462 additional samples). To determine whether PCR-positive blood samples could pose an infection risk, we attempted virus isolation from a subset of RNA-positive samples. Results: We identified 28 relevant studies, reporting SARS-CoV-2 RNA in 0-76% of blood samples;pooled estimate 10% (95%CI 5-18%). Among serum samples from our clinical cohort, 27/212 (12.7%) had SARS-CoV-2 RNA detected by RT-PCR. RNA detection occurred in samples up to day 20 post symptom onset, and was associated with more severe disease (multivariable odds ratio 7.5). Across all samples collected ≥28 days post symptom onset, 0/494 (0%, 95%CI 0-0.7%) had vRNA detected. Among our PCR-positive samples, cycle threshold (ct) values were high (range 33.5-44.8), suggesting low vRNA copy numbers. PCR-positive sera inoculated into cell culture did not produce any cytopathic effect or yield an increase in detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA. There was a relationship between RT-PCR negativity and the presence of total SARS-CoV-2 antibody (p=0.02). Conclusions: vRNA was detectable at low viral loads in a minority of serum samples collected in acute infection, but was not associated with infectious SARS-CoV-2 (within the limitations of the assays used). This work helps to inform biosafety precautions for handling blood products from patients with current or previous COVID-19.

7.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 49(22): 13019-13030, 2021 12 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546008

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a positive-sense RNA virus responsible for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which continues to cause significant morbidity, mortality and economic strain. SARS-CoV-2 can cause severe respiratory disease and death in humans, highlighting the need for effective antiviral therapies. The RNA synthesis machinery of SARS-CoV-2 is an ideal drug target and consists of non-structural protein 12 (nsp12), which is directly responsible for RNA synthesis, and numerous co-factors involved in RNA proofreading and 5' capping of viral RNAs. The formation of the 5' 7-methylguanosine (m7G) cap structure is known to require a guanylyltransferase (GTase) as well as a 5' triphosphatase and methyltransferases; however, the mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 RNA capping remains poorly understood. Here we find that SARS-CoV-2 nsp12 is involved in viral RNA capping as a GTase, carrying out the addition of a GTP nucleotide to the 5' end of viral RNA via a 5' to 5' triphosphate linkage. We further show that the nsp12 NiRAN (nidovirus RdRp-associated nucleotidyltransferase) domain performs this reaction, and can be inhibited by remdesivir triphosphate, the active form of the antiviral drug remdesivir. These findings improve understanding of coronavirus RNA synthesis and highlight a new target for novel or repurposed antiviral drugs against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Triphosphate/analogs & derivatives , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Nucleotidyltransferases/antagonists & inhibitors , RNA, Viral/biosynthesis , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Adenosine Triphosphate/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/antagonists & inhibitors , Genome, Viral/genetics , Guanosine/analogs & derivatives , Guanosine/metabolism , Humans , Nucleotidyltransferases/metabolism , RNA Caps/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccinia virus/enzymology , Vaccinia virus/metabolism
9.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5061, 2021 08 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1361634

ABSTRACT

The extent to which immune responses to natural infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and immunization with vaccines protect against variants of concern (VOC) is of increasing importance. Accordingly, here we analyse antibodies and T cells of a recently vaccinated, UK cohort, alongside those recovering from natural infection in early 2020. We show that neutralization of the VOC compared to a reference isolate of the original circulating lineage, B, is reduced: more profoundly against B.1.351 than for B.1.1.7, and in responses to infection or a single dose of vaccine than to a second dose of vaccine. Importantly, high magnitude T cell responses are generated after two vaccine doses, with the majority of the T cell response directed against epitopes that are conserved between the prototype isolate B and the VOC. Vaccination is required to generate high potency immune responses to protect against these and other emergent variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Carrier Proteins , Epitopes , Humans , Immunity , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
10.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4629, 2021 07 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1333939

ABSTRACT

Since the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, there have been intense structural studies on purified viral components and inactivated viruses. However, structural and ultrastructural evidence on how the SARS-CoV-2 infection progresses in the native cellular context is scarce, and there is a lack of comprehensive knowledge on the SARS-CoV-2 replicative cycle. To correlate cytopathic events induced by SARS-CoV-2 with virus replication processes in frozen-hydrated cells, we established a unique multi-modal, multi-scale cryo-correlative platform to image SARS-CoV-2 infection in Vero cells. This platform combines serial cryoFIB/SEM volume imaging and soft X-ray cryo-tomography with cell lamellae-based cryo-electron tomography (cryoET) and subtomogram averaging. Here we report critical SARS-CoV-2 structural events - e.g. viral RNA transport portals, virus assembly intermediates, virus egress pathway, and native virus spike structures, in the context of whole-cell volumes revealing drastic cytppathic changes. This integrated approach allows a holistic view of SARS-CoV-2 infection, from the whole cell to individual molecules.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Virus Assembly/immunology , Virus Release/immunology , Virus Replication/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Electron Microscope Tomography , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/ultrastructure , Vero Cells , Virus Assembly/physiology , Virus Release/physiology , Virus Replication/physiology
11.
EMBO Rep ; 22(8): e52447, 2021 08 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1278776

ABSTRACT

Cyclic GMP-AMP (cGAMP) is an immunostimulatory molecule produced by cGAS that activates STING. cGAMP is an adjuvant when administered alongside antigens. cGAMP is also incorporated into enveloped virus particles during budding. Here, we investigate whether inclusion of cGAMP within viral vaccine vectors enhances their immunogenicity. We immunise mice with virus-like particles (VLPs) containing HIV-1 Gag and the vesicular stomatitis virus envelope glycoprotein G (VSV-G). cGAMP loading of VLPs augments CD4 and CD8 T-cell responses. It also increases VLP- and VSV-G-specific antibody titres in a STING-dependent manner and enhances virus neutralisation, accompanied by increased numbers of T follicular helper cells. Vaccination with cGAMP-loaded VLPs containing haemagglutinin induces high titres of influenza A virus neutralising antibodies and confers protection upon virus challenge. This requires cGAMP inclusion within VLPs and is achieved at markedly reduced cGAMP doses. Similarly, cGAMP loading of VLPs containing the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein enhances Spike-specific antibody titres. cGAMP-loaded VLPs are thus an attractive platform for vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza Vaccines , Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle , Animals , Humans , Mice , Nucleotides, Cyclic , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle/genetics
12.
Mol Cell ; 81(13): 2851-2867.e7, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1240514

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). SARS-CoV-2 relies on cellular RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) to replicate and spread, although which RBPs control its life cycle remains largely unknown. Here, we employ a multi-omic approach to identify systematically and comprehensively the cellular and viral RBPs that are involved in SARS-CoV-2 infection. We reveal that SARS-CoV-2 infection profoundly remodels the cellular RNA-bound proteome, which includes wide-ranging effects on RNA metabolic pathways, non-canonical RBPs, and antiviral factors. Moreover, we apply a new method to identify the proteins that directly interact with viral RNA, uncovering dozens of cellular RBPs and six viral proteins. Among them are several components of the tRNA ligase complex, which we show regulate SARS-CoV-2 infection. Furthermore, we discover that available drugs targeting host RBPs that interact with SARS-CoV-2 RNA inhibit infection. Collectively, our results uncover a new universe of host-virus interactions with potential for new antiviral therapies against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Proteome/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication/physiology , A549 Cells , COVID-19/genetics , Humans , Proteome/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA-Binding Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics
13.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(2): e1009352, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1105835

ABSTRACT

Serological and plasmablast responses and plasmablast-derived IgG monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) have been analysed in three COVID-19 patients with different clinical severities. Potent humoral responses were detected within 3 weeks of onset of illness in all patients and the serological titre was elicited soon after or concomitantly with peripheral plasmablast response. An average of 13.7% and 3.5% of plasmablast-derived MAbs were reactive with virus spike glycoprotein or nucleocapsid, respectively. A subset of anti-spike (10 of 32) antibodies cross-reacted with other betacoronaviruses tested and harboured extensive somatic mutations, indicative of an expansion of memory B cells upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. Fourteen of 32 anti-spike MAbs, including five anti-receptor-binding domain (RBD), three anti-non-RBD S1 and six anti-S2, neutralised wild-type SARS-CoV-2 in independent assays. Anti-RBD MAbs were further grouped into four cross-inhibiting clusters, of which six antibodies from three separate clusters blocked the binding of RBD to ACE2 and five were neutralising. All ACE2-blocking anti-RBD antibodies were isolated from two recovered patients with prolonged fever, which is compatible with substantial ACE2-blocking response in their sera. Finally, the identification of non-competing pairs of neutralising antibodies would offer potential templates for the development of prophylactic and therapeutic agents against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/antagonists & inhibitors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Antibody-Producing Cells/immunology , Binding Sites , Epitopes , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Nucleocapsid/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
14.
Cell ; 184(8): 2183-2200.e22, 2021 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1086819

ABSTRACT

Antibodies are crucial to immune protection against SARS-CoV-2, with some in emergency use as therapeutics. Here, we identify 377 human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) recognizing the virus spike and focus mainly on 80 that bind the receptor binding domain (RBD). We devise a competition data-driven method to map RBD binding sites. We find that although antibody binding sites are widely dispersed, neutralizing antibody binding is focused, with nearly all highly inhibitory mAbs (IC50 < 0.1 µg/mL) blocking receptor interaction, except for one that binds a unique epitope in the N-terminal domain. Many of these neutralizing mAbs use public V-genes and are close to germline. We dissect the structural basis of recognition for this large panel of antibodies through X-ray crystallography and cryoelectron microscopy of 19 Fab-antigen structures. We find novel binding modes for some potently inhibitory antibodies and demonstrate that strongly neutralizing mAbs protect, prophylactically or therapeutically, in animal models.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Binding Sites, Antibody , CHO Cells , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetulus , Epitopes , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Models, Molecular , Protein Binding , Protein Structure, Tertiary , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vero Cells
15.
Wellcome Open Research ; 2020.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1024793

ABSTRACT

Background: Laboratory diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection (the cause of COVID-19) uses PCR to detect viral RNA (vRNA) in respiratory samples. SARS-CoV-2 RNA has also been detected in other sample types, but there is limited understanding of the clinical or laboratory significance of its detection in blood. Methods: We undertook a systematic literature review to assimilate the evidence for the frequency of vRNA in blood, and to identify associated clinical characteristics. We performed RT-PCR in serum samples from a UK clinical cohort of acute and convalescent COVID-19 cases (n=212), together with convalescent plasma samples collected by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) (n=462 additional samples). To determine whether PCR-positive blood samples could pose an infection risk, we attempted virus isolation from a subset of RNA-positive samples. Results: We identified 28 relevant studies, reporting SARS-CoV-2 RNA in 0-76% of blood samples;pooled estimate 10% (95%CI 5-18%). Among serum samples from our clinical cohort, 27/212 (12.7%) had SARS-CoV-2 RNA detected by RT-PCR. RNA detection occurred in samples up to day 20 post symptom onset, and was associated with more severe disease (multivariable odds ratio 7.5). Across all samples collected ≥28 days post symptom onset, 0/494 (0%, 95%CI 0-0.7%) had vRNA detected. Among our PCR-positive samples, cycle threshold (ct) values were high (range 33.5-44.8), suggesting low vRNA copy numbers. PCR-positive sera inoculated into cell culture did not produce any cytopathic effect or yield an increase in detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA. There was a relationship between RT-PCR negativity and the presence of total SARS-CoV-2 antibody (p=0.02). Conclusions: vRNA was detectable at low viral loads in a minority of serum samples collected in acute infection, but was not associated with infectious SARS-CoV-2 (within the limitations of the assays used). This work helps to inform biosafety precautions for handling blood products from patients with current or previous COVID-19.

17.
MAbs ; 12(1): 1804241, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-720912

ABSTRACT

In the absence of a proven effective vaccine preventing infection by SARS-CoV-2, or a proven drug to treat COVID-19, the positive results of passive immune therapy using convalescent serum provide a strong lead. We have developed a new class of tetravalent, biparatopic therapy, 89C8-ACE2. It combines the specificity of a monoclonal antibody (89C8) that recognizes the relatively conserved N-terminal domain of the viral Spike (S) glycoprotein, and the ectodomain of ACE2, which binds to the receptor-binding domain of S. This molecule shows exceptional performance in vitro, inhibiting the interaction of recombinant S1 to ACE2 and transduction of ACE2-overexpressing cells by S-pseudotyped lentivirus with IC50s substantially below 100 pM, and with potency approximately 100-fold greater than ACE2-Fc itself. Moreover, 89C8-ACE2 was able to neutralize authentic viral infection in a standard 96-h co-incubation assay at low nanomolar concentrations, making this class of molecule a promising lead for therapeutic applications.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/drug effects , Pneumonia, Viral , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Antibodies, Monoclonal/pharmacology , COVID-19 , Drug Design , Drug Discovery , Humans , Recombinant Proteins , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/drug effects
18.
Nat Struct Mol Biol ; 27(10): 950-958, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-691341

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented health and economic impact and there are currently no approved therapies. We have isolated an antibody, EY6A, from an individual convalescing from COVID-19 and have shown that it neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 and cross-reacts with SARS-CoV-1. EY6A Fab binds the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the viral spike glycoprotein tightly (KD of 2 nM), and a 2.6-Å-resolution crystal structure of an RBD-EY6A Fab complex identifies the highly conserved epitope, away from the ACE2 receptor binding site. Residues within this footprint are key to stabilizing the pre-fusion spike. Cryo-EM analyses of the pre-fusion spike incubated with EY6A Fab reveal a complex of the intact spike trimer with three Fabs bound and two further multimeric forms comprising the destabilized spike attached to Fab. EY6A binds what is probably a major neutralizing epitope, making it a candidate therapeutic for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Adult , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Binding Sites , COVID-19 , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cross Reactions , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Crystallography, X-Ray , Epitopes , Humans , Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments/chemistry , Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments/metabolism , Male , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Protein Conformation , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vero Cells
19.
Nat Struct Mol Biol ; 27(9): 846-854, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-653285

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 virus is more transmissible than previous coronaviruses and causes a more serious illness than influenza. The SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein binds to the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor as a prelude to viral entry into the cell. Using a naive llama single-domain antibody library and PCR-based maturation, we have produced two closely related nanobodies, H11-D4 and H11-H4, that bind RBD (KD of 39 and 12 nM, respectively) and block its interaction with ACE2. Single-particle cryo-EM revealed that both nanobodies bind to all three RBDs in the spike trimer. Crystal structures of each nanobody-RBD complex revealed how both nanobodies recognize the same epitope, which partly overlaps with the ACE2 binding surface, explaining the blocking of the RBD-ACE2 interaction. Nanobody-Fc fusions showed neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2 (4-6 nM for H11-H4, 18 nM for H11-D4) and additive neutralization with the SARS-CoV-1/2 antibody CR3022.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Single-Domain Antibodies/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/ultrastructure , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/ultrastructure , Antibody Affinity , Antigen-Antibody Reactions/immunology , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Binding, Competitive , COVID-19 , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Crystallography, X-Ray , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/genetics , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/immunology , Models, Molecular , Peptide Library , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/ultrastructure , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , Receptors, Virus/ultrastructure , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Single-Domain Antibodies/metabolism , Single-Domain Antibodies/ultrastructure , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/ultrastructure
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