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Cell Reports ; : 111276, 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1982702


Summary Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike is the target for neutralizing antibodies elicited following both infection and vaccination. While extensive research has shown that the receptor binding domain (RBD) and, to a lesser extent, the N-terminal domain (NTD) are the predominant targets for neutralizing antibodies, identification of neutralizing epitopes beyond these regions is important for informing vaccine development and understanding antibody-mediated immune escape. Here, we identify a class of broadly neutralizing antibodies that bind an epitope on the spike subdomain 1 (SD1) and that have arisen from infection or vaccination. Using cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and hydrogen-deuterium exchange coupled to mass spectrometry (HDX-MS), we show that SD1-specific antibody P008_60 binds an epitope that is not accessible within the canonical prefusion states of the SARS-CoV-2 spike, suggesting a transient conformation of the viral glycoprotein that is vulnerable to neutralization.

Sci Adv ; 7(22)2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388434


The coronaviral spike is the dominant viral antigen and the target of neutralizing antibodies. We show that SARS-CoV-2 spike binds biliverdin and bilirubin, the tetrapyrrole products of heme metabolism, with nanomolar affinity. Using cryo-electron microscopy and x-ray crystallography, we mapped the tetrapyrrole interaction pocket to a deep cleft on the spike N-terminal domain (NTD). At physiological concentrations, biliverdin significantly dampened the reactivity of SARS-CoV-2 spike with immune sera and inhibited a subset of neutralizing antibodies. Access to the tetrapyrrole-sensitive epitope is gated by a flexible loop on the distal face of the NTD. Accompanied by profound conformational changes in the NTD, antibody binding requires relocation of the gating loop, which folds into the cleft vacated by the metabolite. Our results indicate that SARS-CoV-2 spike NTD harbors a dominant epitope, access to which can be controlled by an allosteric mechanism that is regulated through recruitment of a metabolite.

COVID-19/immunology , Heme/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Bilirubin/metabolism , Biliverdine/metabolism , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Crystallography, X-Ray , Epitopes , Humans , Immune Sera , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity