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1.
J Mol Biol ; 434(2): 167332, 2022 01 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1492301

ABSTRACT

Extensive glycosylation of viral glycoproteins is a key feature of the antigenic surface of viruses and yet glycan processing can also be influenced by the manner of their recombinant production. The low yields of the soluble form of the trimeric spike (S) glycoprotein from SARS-CoV-2 has prompted advances in protein engineering that have greatly enhanced the stability and yields of the glycoprotein. The latest expression-enhanced version of the spike incorporates six proline substitutions to stabilize the prefusion conformation (termed SARS-CoV-2 S HexaPro). Although the substitutions greatly enhanced expression whilst not compromising protein structure, the influence of these substitutions on glycan processing has not been explored. Here, we show that the site-specific N-linked glycosylation of the expression-enhanced HexaPro resembles that of an earlier version containing two proline substitutions (2P), and that both capture features of native viral glycosylation. However, there are site-specific differences in glycosylation of HexaPro when compared to 2P. Despite these discrepancies, analysis of the serological reactivity of clinical samples from infected individuals confirmed that both HexaPro and 2P protein are equally able to detect IgG, IgA, and IgM responses in all sera analysed. Moreover, we extend this observation to include an analysis of glycan engineered S protein, whereby all N-linked glycans were converted to oligomannose-type and conclude that serological activity is not impacted by large scale changes in glycosylation. These observations suggest that variations in glycan processing will not impact the serological assessments currently being performed across the globe.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Mutation, Missense/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Glycosylation , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Mannose/metabolism , Mutation, Missense/genetics , Oligosaccharides/metabolism , Polysaccharides/metabolism , Proline/genetics , Proline/immunology , Proline/metabolism , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
2.
Anal Chem ; 93(43): 14392-14400, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475240

ABSTRACT

Understanding the glycosylation of the envelope spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 is important in defining the antigenic surface of this key viral target. However, the underlying protein architecture may significantly influence glycan occupancy and processing. There is, therefore, potential for different recombinant fragments of S protein to display divergent glycosylation. Here, we show that the receptor binding domain (RBD), when expressed as a monomer, exhibits O-linked glycosylation, which is not recapitulated in the native-like soluble trimeric protein. We unambiguously assign O-linked glycosylation by homogenizing N-linked glycosylation using the enzymatic inhibitor, kifunensine, and then analyzing the resulting structures by electron-transfer higher-energy collision dissociation (EThcD) in an Orbitrap Eclipse Tribrid instrument. In the native-like trimer, we observe a single unambiguous O-linked glycan at T323, which displays very low occupancy. In contrast, several sites of O-linked glycosylation can be identified when RBD is expressed as a monomer, with T323 being almost completely occupied. We ascribe this effect to the relaxation of steric restraints arising from quaternary protein architecture. Our analytical approach has also highlighted that fragmentation ions arising from trace levels of truncated N-linked glycans can be misassigned as proximal putative O-linked glycan structures, particularly where a paucity of diagnostic fragments were obtained. Overall, we show that in matched expression systems the quaternary protein architecture limits O-linked glycosylation of the spike protein.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Glycosylation , Humans , Polysaccharides , Protein Binding , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
3.
J Mol Biol ; 433(4): 166762, 2021 02 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1386060

ABSTRACT

The severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection is highly variable and yet the molecular basis for this effect remains elusive. One potential contribution are differences in the glycosylation of target human cells, particularly as SARS-CoV-2 has the capacity to bind sialic acid which is a common, and highly variable, terminal modification of glycans. The viral spike glycoprotein (S) of SARS-CoV-2 and the human cellular receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) are both densely glycosylated. We therefore sought to investigate whether the glycosylation state of ACE2 impacts the interaction with SARS-CoV-2 viral spike. We generated a panel of engineered ACE2 glycoforms which were analyzed by mass spectrometry to reveal the site-specific glycan modifications. We then probed the impact of ACE2 glycosylation on S binding and revealed a subtle sensitivity with hypersialylated or oligomannose-type glycans slightly impeding the interaction. In contrast, deglycosylation of ACE2 did not influence SARS-CoV-2 binding. Overall, ACE2 glycosylation does not significantly influence viral spike binding. We suggest that any role of glycosylation in the pathobiology of SARS-CoV-2 will lie beyond its immediate impact of receptor glycosylation on virus binding.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Glycosylation , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Models, Molecular , Polysaccharides/analysis , Protein Binding
4.
Immunology ; 164(1): 135-147, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295026

ABSTRACT

Detecting antibody responses during and after SARS-CoV-2 infection is essential in determining the seroepidemiology of the virus and the potential role of antibody in disease. Scalable, sensitive and specific serological assays are essential to this process. The detection of antibody in hospitalized patients with severe disease has proven relatively straightforward; detecting responses in subjects with mild disease and asymptomatic infections has proven less reliable. We hypothesized that the suboptimal sensitivity of antibody assays and the compartmentalization of the antibody response may contribute to this effect. We systematically developed an ELISA, optimizing different antigens and amplification steps, in serum and saliva from non-hospitalized SARS-CoV-2-infected subjects. Using trimeric spike glycoprotein, rather than nucleocapsid, enabled detection of responses in individuals with low antibody responses. IgG1 and IgG3 predominate to both antigens, but more anti-spike IgG1 than IgG3 was detectable. All antigens were effective for detecting responses in hospitalized patients. Anti-spike IgG, IgA and IgM antibody responses were readily detectable in saliva from a minority of RT-PCR confirmed, non-hospitalized symptomatic individuals, and these were mostly subjects who had the highest levels of anti-spike serum antibodies. Therefore, detecting antibody responses in both saliva and serum can contribute to determining virus exposure and understanding immune responses after SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Saliva
5.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 26(12): 2970-2973, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-792953

ABSTRACT

Dried blood spot (DBS) samples can be used for the detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 spike antibodies. DBS sampling is comparable to matched serum samples with a relative 98.1% sensitivity and 100% specificity. Thus, DBS sampling offers an alternative for population-wide serologic testing in the coronavirus pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Dried Blood Spot Testing/methods , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , Case-Control Studies , Dried Blood Spot Testing/economics , Humans , Predictive Value of Tests , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification
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