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1.
Frontiers in immunology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1876857

ABSTRACT

Safe and effective vaccines and therapeutics based on the understanding of antiviral immunity are urgently needed to end the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the understanding of these immune responses, especially cellular immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection, is limited. Here, we conducted a cohort study of COVID-19 patients who were followed and had blood collected to characterize the longitudinal dynamics of their cellular immune responses. Compared with healthy controls, the percentage of activation of SARS-CoV-2 S/N-specific T cells in recovered patients was significantly higher. And the activation percentage of S/N-specific CD8+ T cells in recovered patients was significantly higher than that of CD4+ T cells. Notably, SARS-CoV-2 specific T-cell responses were strongly biased toward the expression of Th1 cytokines, included the cytokines IFNγ, TNFα and IL2. Moreover, the secreted IFNγ and IL2 level in severe patients was higher than that in mild patients. Additionally, the number of IFNγ-secreting S-specific T cells in recovered patients were higher than that of N-specific T cells. Overall, the SARS-CoV-2 S/N-specific T-cell responses in recovered patients were strong, and virus-specific immunity was present until 14-16 weeks after symptom onset. Our work provides a basis for understanding the immune responses and pathogenesis of COVID-19. It also has implications for vaccine development and optimization and speeding up the licensing of the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines.

2.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-337732

ABSTRACT

Homologous and heterologous booster with COVID-19 mRNA vaccines represent the most effective strategy to prevent the ongoing Omicron pandemic. The additional protection from these prototype SARS-CoV-2 S-targeting vaccine was attributed to the increased RBD-specific memory B cells with expanded potency and breadth. Herein, we show the safety and immunogenicity of heterologous boosting with the RBD-targeting mRNA vaccine AWcorna (also term ARCoV) in Chinese adults who have received two doses inactivated vaccine. The superiority over inactivated vaccine in neutralization antibodies, as well as the safety profile, support the use of AWcorna as heterologous booster in China.

3.
Cell Biosci ; 12(1): 63, 2022 May 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1846866

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Neutralizing antibodies are approved drugs to treat coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) patients, yet mutations in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) variants may reduce the antibody neutralizing activity. New monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and antibody remolding strategies are recalled in the battle with COVID-19 epidemic. RESULTS: We identified multiple mAbs from antibody phage display library made from COVID-19 patients and further characterized the R3P1-E4 clone, which effectively suppressed SARS-CoV-2 infection and rescued the lethal phenotype in mice infected with SARS-CoV-2. Crystal structural analysis not only explained why R3P1-E4 had selectively reduced binding and neutralizing activity to SARS-CoV-2 variants carrying K417 mutations, but also allowed us to engineer mutant antibodies with improved neutralizing activity against these variants. Thus, we screened out R3P1-E4 mAb which inhibits SARS-CoV-2 and related mutations in vitro and in vivo. Antibody engineering improved neutralizing activity of R3P1-E4 against K417 mutations. CONCLUSION: Our studies have outlined a strategy to identify and engineer neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 variants.

4.
Cell Discov ; 8(1): 38, 2022 Apr 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815520

ABSTRACT

The global COVID-19 epidemic has spread rapidly around the world and caused the death of more than 5 million people. It is urgent to develop effective strategies to treat COVID-19 patients. Here, we revealed that SARS-CoV-2 infection resulted in the dysregulation of genes associated with NAD+ metabolism, immune response, and cell death in mice, similar to that in COVID-19 patients. We therefore investigated the effect of treatment with NAD+ and its intermediate (NMN) and found that the pneumonia phenotypes, including excessive inflammatory cell infiltration, hemolysis, and embolization in SARS-CoV-2-infected lungs were significantly rescued. Cell death was suppressed substantially by NAD+ and NMN supplementation. More strikingly, NMN supplementation can protect 30% of aged mice infected with the lethal mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 from death. Mechanically, we found that NAD+ or NMN supplementation partially rescued the disturbed gene expression and metabolism caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection. Thus, our in vivo mouse study supports trials for treating COVID-19 patients by targeting the NAD+ pathway.

5.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-333031

ABSTRACT

As the world continues to experience the COVID-19 pandemic, seasonal influenza remain a cause of severe morbidity and mortality globally. Worse yet, coinfection with SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A virus (IAV) leads to more severe clinical outcomes. The development of a combined vaccine against both COVID-19 and influenza is thus of high priority. Based on our established lipid nanoparticle (LNP)-encapsulated mRNA vaccine platform, we developed and characterized a novel mRNA vaccine encoding the HA antigen of influenza A (H1N1) virus, termed ARIAV. Then, ARIAV was combined with our COVID-19 mRNA vaccine ARCoV, which encodes the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 S protein, to formulate the final combined vaccine, AR-CoV/IAV. Further characterization demonstrated that immunization with two doses of AR-CoV/IAV elicited robust protective antibodies as well as antigen-specific cellular immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 and IAV. More importantly, AR-CoV/IAV immunization protected mice from coinfection with IAV and the SARS-CoV-2 Alpha and Delta variants. Our results highlight the potential of the LNP-mRNA vaccine platform in preventing COVID-19 and influenza, as well as other respiratory diseases.

6.
Research Square ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1786456

ABSTRACT

As the world continues to experience the COVID-19 pandemic, seasonal influenza remain a cause of severe morbidity and mortality globally. Worse yet, coinfection with SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A virus (IAV) leads to more severe clinical outcomes. The development of a combined vaccine against both COVID-19 and influenza is thus of high priority. Based on our established lipid nanoparticle (LNP)-encapsulated mRNA vaccine platform, we developed and characterized a novel mRNA vaccine encoding the HA antigen of influenza A (H1N1) virus, termed ARIAV. Then, ARIAV was combined with our COVID-19 mRNA vaccine ARCoV, which encodes the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 S protein, to formulate the final combined vaccine, AR-CoV/IAV. Further characterization demonstrated that immunization with two doses of AR-CoV/IAV elicited robust protective antibodies as well as antigen-specific cellular immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 and IAV. More importantly, AR-CoV/IAV immunization protected mice from coinfection with IAV and the SARS-CoV-2 Alpha and Delta variants. Our results highlight the potential of the LNP-mRNA vaccine platform in preventing COVID-19 and influenza, as well as other respiratory diseases.

7.
J Med Virol ; 94(7): 3223-3232, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1756617

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has evolved into a panel of variants of concern (VOCs) and constituted a sustained threat to global health. The wildtype (WT) SARS-CoV-2 isolates fail to infect mice, while the Beta variant, one of the VOCs, has acquired the capability to infect standard laboratory mice, raising a spreading risk of SARS-CoV-2 from humans to mice. However, the infectivity and pathogenicity of other VOCs in mice remain not fully understood. In this study, we systematically investigated the infectivity and pathogenicity of three VOCs, Alpha, Beta, and Delta, in mice in comparison with two well-understood SARS-CoV-2 mouse-adapted strains, MASCp6 and MASCp36, sharing key mutations in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) with Alpha or Beta, respectively. Our results showed that the Beta variant had the strongest infectivity and pathogenicity among the three VOCs, while the Delta variant only caused limited replication and mild pathogenic changes in the mouse lung, which is much weaker than what the Alpha variant did. Meanwhile, Alpha showed comparable infectivity in lungs in comparison with MASCp6, and Beta only showed slightly lower infectivity in lungs when compared with MASCp36. These results indicated that all three VOCs have acquired the capability to infect mice, highlighting the ongoing spillover risk of SARS-CoV-2 from humans to mice during the continued evolution of SARS-CoV-2, and that the key amino acid mutations in the RBD of mouse-adapted strains may be referenced as an early-warning indicator for predicting the spillover risk of newly emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Humans , Mice , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
8.
Lancet Microbe ; 3(3): e193-e202, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1721237

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Safe and effective vaccines are urgently needed to end the COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection. We aimed to assess the preliminary safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of an mRNA vaccine ARCoV, which encodes the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD). METHODS: This single centre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, dose-escalation, phase 1 trial of ARCoV was conducted at Shulan (Hangzhou) hospital in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China. Healthy adults aged 18-59 years negative for SARS-CoV-2 infection were enrolled and randomly assigned using block randomisation to receive an intramuscular injection of vaccine or placebo. Vaccine doses were 5 µg, 10 µg, 15 µg, 20 µg, and 25 µg. The first six participants in each block were sentinels and along with the remaining 18 participants, were randomly assigned to groups (5:1). In block 1 sentinels were given the lowest vaccine dose and after a 4-day observation with confirmed safety analyses, the remaining 18 participants in the same dose group proceeded and sentinels in block 2 were given their first administration on a two-dose schedule, 28 days apart. All participants, investigators, and staff doing laboratory analyses were masked to treatment allocation. Humoral responses were assessed by measuring anti-SARS-CoV-2 RBD IgG using a standardised ELISA and neutralising antibodies using pseudovirus-based and live SARS-CoV-2 neutralisation assays. SARS-CoV-2 RBD-specific T-cell responses, including IFN-γ and IL-2 production, were assessed using an enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISpot) assay. The primary outcome for safety was incidence of adverse events or adverse reactions within 60 min, and at days 7, 14, and 28 after each vaccine dose. The secondary safety outcome was abnormal changes detected by laboratory tests at days 1, 4, 7, and 28 after each vaccine dose. For immunogenicity, the secondary outcome was humoral immune responses: titres of neutralising antibodies to live SARS-CoV-2, neutralising antibodies to pseudovirus, and RBD-specific IgG at baseline and 28 days after first vaccination and at days 7, 15, and 28 after second vaccination. The exploratory outcome was SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell responses at 7 days after the first vaccination and at days 7 and 15 after the second vaccination. This trial is registered with www.chictr.org.cn (ChiCTR2000039212). FINDINGS: Between Oct 30 and Dec 2, 2020, 230 individuals were screened and 120 eligible participants were randomly assigned to receive five-dose levels of ARCoV or a placebo (20 per group). All participants received the first vaccination and 118 received the second dose. No serious adverse events were reported within 56 days after vaccination and the majority of adverse events were mild or moderate. Fever was the most common systemic adverse reaction (one [5%] of 20 in the 5 µg group, 13 [65%] of 20 in the 10 µg group, 17 [85%] of 20 in the 15 µg group, 19 [95%] of 20 in the 20 µg group, 16 [100%] of 16 in the 25 µg group; p<0·0001). The incidence of grade 3 systemic adverse events were none (0%) of 20 in the 5 µg group, three (15%) of 20 in the 10 µg group, six (30%) of 20 in the 15 µg group, seven (35%) of 20 in the 20 µg group, five (31%) of 16 in the 25 µg group, and none (0%) of 20 in the placebo group (p=0·0013). As expected, the majority of fever resolved in the first 2 days after vaccination for all groups. The incidence of solicited systemic adverse events was similar after administration of ARCoV as a first or second vaccination. Humoral immune responses including anti-RBD IgG and neutralising antibodies increased significantly 7 days after the second dose and peaked between 14 and 28 days thereafter. Specific T-cell response peaked between 7 and 14 days after full vaccination. 15 µg induced the highest titre of neutralising antibodies, which was about twofold more than the antibody titre of convalescent patients with COVID-19. INTERPRETATION: ARCoV was safe and well tolerated at all five doses. The acceptable safety profile, together with the induction of strong humoral and cellular immune responses, support further clinical testing of ARCoV at a large scale. FUNDING: National Key Research and Development Project of China, Academy of Medical Sciences China, National Natural Science Foundation China, and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , China , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Immunoglobulin G , Pandemics/prevention & control , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccines, Synthetic
9.
Innovation (Camb) ; 3(2): 100221, 2022 Mar 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1713028

ABSTRACT

The highly pathogenic and readily transmissible SARS-CoV-2 has caused a global coronavirus pandemic, urgently requiring effective countermeasures against its rapid expansion. All available vaccine platforms are being used to generate safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. Here, we generated a live-attenuated candidate vaccine strain by serial passaging of a SARS-CoV-2 clinical isolate in Vero cells. Deep sequencing revealed the dynamic adaptation of SARS-CoV-2 in Vero cells, resulting in a stable clone with a deletion of seven amino acids (N679SPRRAR685) at the S1/S2 junction of the S protein (named VAS5). VAS5 showed significant attenuation of replication in multiple human cell lines, human airway epithelium organoids, and hACE2 mice. Viral fitness competition assays demonstrated that VAS5 showed specific tropism to Vero cells but decreased fitness in human cells compared with the parental virus. More importantly, a single intranasal injection of VAS5 elicited a high level of neutralizing antibodies and prevented SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice as well as close-contact transmission in golden Syrian hamsters. Structural and biochemical analysis revealed a stable and locked prefusion conformation of the S trimer of VAS5, which most resembles SARS-CoV-2-3Q-2P, an advanced vaccine immunogen (NVAX-CoV2373). Further systematic antigenic profiling and immunogenicity validation confirmed that the VAS5 S trimer presents an enhanced antigenic mimic of the wild-type S trimer. Our results not only provide a potent live-attenuated vaccine candidate against COVID-19 but also clarify the molecular and structural basis for the highly attenuated and super immunogenic phenotype of VAS5.

10.
Cell Res ; 32(4): 375-382, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1707327

ABSTRACT

Monoclonal antibodies represent important weapons in our arsenal to against the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this potential is severely limited by the time-consuming process of developing effective antibodies and the relative high cost of manufacturing. Herein, we present a rapid and cost-effective lipid nanoparticle (LNP) encapsulated-mRNA platform for in vivo delivery of SARS-CoV-2 neutralization antibodies. Two mRNAs encoding the light and heavy chains of a potent SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody HB27, which is currently being evaluated in clinical trials, were encapsulated into clinical grade LNP formulations (named as mRNA-HB27-LNP). In vivo characterization demonstrated that intravenous administration of mRNA-HB27-LNP in mice resulted in a longer circulating half-life compared with the original HB27 antibody in protein format. More importantly, a single prophylactic administration of mRNA-HB27-LNP provided protection against SARS-CoV-2 challenge in mice at 1, 7 and even 63 days post administration. In a close contact transmission model, prophylactic administration of mRNA-HB27-LNP prevented SARS-CoV-2 infection between hamsters in a dose-dependent manner. Overall, our results demonstrate a superior long-term protection against SARS-CoV-2 conferred by a single administration of this unique mRNA antibody, highlighting the potential of this universal platform for antibody-based disease prevention and therapy against COVID-19 as well as a variety of other infectious diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cricetinae , Humans , Liposomes , Mice , Nanoparticles , Pandemics/prevention & control , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
11.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-323518

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection induces new-onset diabetes and severe metabolic complications of pre-existing diabetes. The pathogenic mechanism underlying this is incompletely understood. Here, we provided evidence linking circulating GP73 with the exaggerated gluconeogenesis triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection. We found that SARS-CoV-2 infection or glucotoxic conditions increased GP73 production and secretion. Secreted GP73 then trafficked to the liver and kidney to stimulate gluconeogenesis through the cAMP/PKA pathway. By using global phosphoproteomics, we found a drastic remodeling of the PKA kinase hub exerted by GP73. Notably, plasma GP73 levels were elevated and positively correlated with blood glucose in patients with COVID19 and diabetes. Neutralization of circulating GP73 in serum of individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 or with diabetes reduced excessive gluconeogenesis in cultured hepatocytes, and lowered blood glucose levels in animal models of diabetes. Ablation of GP73 from whole animals has a profound glucose-lowering effect secondary to reduced gluconeogenesis. Thus, GP73 is a key glucogenic hormone contributing to SARS-CoV-2-induced glucose abnormality.

12.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-309675

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which has resulted in ~1,119,431 deaths. There is currently no approved vaccines or therapeutics for treating COVID-19. The SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein promotes entry into host cells and is considered a key therapeutic target by many researchers. Here we describe the identification of several monoclonal antibodies that target the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein. One human antibody, CA521 LALA , demonstrated neutralization potential by immunizing human antibody transgenic mice. CA521 LALA showed potent SARS-CoV-2-specific neutralization activity against SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus and authentic SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro . The LALA mutation introduced to CA521 abrogates the binding with Fc receptors or complement receptors reducing antibody-dependent enhancement seen with anti-SARS-CoV antibodies. CA521 LALA also demonstrated having a long half-life of 9.5 days in mice and 9.3 days in rhesus monkeys. CA521 LALA inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection in SARS-CoV-2 susceptible mice at a therapeutic setting with the virus titer of the lung reduced by 4.5 logs. Structural analysis by cryo-EM revealed that CA521 LALA recognizes an epitope overlapping with angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)-binding sites in SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) in the Spike protein. CA521 LALA blocks the interaction by binding all three RBDs of one SARS CoV-2 spike trimer simultaneously. These results demonstrate the importance for antibody-based therapeutic interventions in the treatment of COVID-19 and identifies CA521 LALA a promising antibody that reacts with SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein to strongly neutralize its activity.

13.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-325436

ABSTRACT

The spike protein (S) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) mediates membrane fusion to allow entry of viral genome into host cell. To understand its detailed entry mechanism and develop specific entry inhibitor, the in situ structural information of SARS-CoV-2 spikes in different states are urgently important. Here, by using the cryo-electron microscopic tomograms, we observed spikes of inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virions in both pre-fusion and post-fusion states and solved the nanometer resolution structure of in situ post-fusion spike. With a more complete model compared to previous reports, the relative spatial position between fusion peptide and transmembrane domain was discovered. Novel oligomerizations of spikes on viral membrane were observed, likely suggesting a new mechanism of fusion pore formation.

15.
Nature ; 603(7903): 919-925, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1655591

ABSTRACT

Omicron (B.1.1.529), the most heavily mutated SARS-CoV-2 variant so far, is highly resistant to neutralizing antibodies, raising concerns about the effectiveness of antibody therapies and vaccines1,2. Here we examined whether sera from individuals who received two or three doses of inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine could neutralize authentic Omicron. The seroconversion rates of neutralizing antibodies were 3.3% (2 out of 60) and 95% (57 out of 60) for individuals who had received 2 and 3 doses of vaccine, respectively. For recipients of three vaccine doses, the geometric mean neutralization antibody titre for Omicron was 16.5-fold lower than for the ancestral virus (254). We isolated 323 human monoclonal antibodies derived from memory B cells in triple vaccinees, half of which recognized the receptor-binding domain, and showed that a subset (24 out of 163) potently neutralized all SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, including Omicron. Therapeutic treatments with representative broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies were highly protective against infection of mice with SARS-CoV-2 Beta (B.1.351) and Omicron. Atomic structures of the Omicron spike protein in complex with three classes of antibodies that were active against all five variants of concern defined the binding and neutralizing determinants and revealed a key antibody escape site, G446S, that confers greater resistance to a class of antibodies that bind on the right shoulder of the receptor-binding domain by altering local conformation at the binding interface. Our results rationalize the use of three-dose immunization regimens and suggest that the fundamental epitopes revealed by these broadly ultrapotent antibodies are rational targets for a universal sarbecovirus vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Mice , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
16.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 438, 2021 12 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585880

ABSTRACT

Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine technology has shown its power in preventing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Two mRNA vaccines targeting the full-length S protein of SARS-CoV-2 have been authorized for emergency use. Recently, we have developed a lipid nanoparticle-encapsulated mRNA (mRNA-LNP) encoding the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 (termed ARCoV), which confers complete protection in mouse model. Herein, we further characterized the protection efficacy of ARCoV in nonhuman primates and the long-term stability under normal refrigerator temperature. Intramuscular immunization of two doses of ARCoV elicited robust neutralizing antibodies as well as cellular response against SARS-CoV-2 in cynomolgus macaques. More importantly, ARCoV vaccination in macaques significantly protected animals from acute lung lesions caused by SARS-CoV-2, and viral replication in lungs and secretion in nasal swabs were completely cleared in all animals immunized with low or high doses of ARCoV. No evidence of antibody-dependent enhancement of infection was observed throughout the study. Finally, extensive stability assays showed that ARCoV can be stored at 2-8 °C for at least 6 months without decrease of immunogenicity. All these promising results strongly support the ongoing clinical trial.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , /pharmacology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Macaca fascicularis , Vero Cells , /immunology
19.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 389, 2021 11 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510582

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV are genetically related coronavirus and share the same cellular receptor ACE2. By replacing the VSV glycoprotein with the spikes (S) of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV, we generated two replication-competent recombinant viruses, rVSV-SARS-CoV-2 and rVSV-SARS-CoV. Using wild-type and human ACE2 (hACE2) knock-in mouse models, we found a single dose of rVSV-SARS-CoV could elicit strong humoral immune response via both intranasal (i.n.) and intramuscular (i.m.) routes. Despite the high genetic similarity between SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV, no obvious cross-neutralizing activity was observed in the immunized mice sera. In macaques, neutralizing antibody (NAb) titers induced by one i.n. dose of rVSV-SARS-CoV-2 were eight-fold higher than those by a single i.m. dose. Thus, our data indicates that rVSV-SARS-CoV-2 might be suitable for i.n. administration instead of the traditional i.m. immunization in human. Because rVSV-SARS-CoV elicited significantly stronger NAb responses than rVSV-SARS-CoV-2 in a route-independent manner, we generated a chimeric antigen by replacing the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV S with that from the SARS-CoV-2. rVSV expressing the chimera (rVSV-SARS-CoV/2-RBD) induced significantly increased NAbs against SARS-CoV-2 in mice and macaques than rVSV-SARS-CoV-2, with a safe Th1-biased response. Serum immunized with rVSV-SARS-CoV/2-RBD showed no cross-reactivity with SARS-CoV. hACE2 mice receiving a single i.m. dose of either rVSV-SARS-CoV-2 or rVSV-SARS-CoV/2-RBD were fully protected against SARS-CoV-2 challenge without obvious lesions in the lungs. Our results suggest that transplantation of SARS-CoV-2 RBD into the S protein of SARS-CoV might be a promising antigen design for COVID-19 vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Gene Knock-In Techniques , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Neutralization Tests , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
20.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5654, 2021 09 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440471

ABSTRACT

There is an urgent need for animal models to study SARS-CoV-2 pathogenicity. Here, we generate and characterize a novel mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 strain, MASCp36, that causes severe respiratory symptoms, and mortality. Our model exhibits age- and gender-related mortality akin to severe COVID-19. Deep sequencing identified three amino acid substitutions, N501Y, Q493H, and K417N, at the receptor binding domain (RBD) of MASCp36, during in vivo passaging. All three RBD mutations significantly enhance binding affinity to its endogenous receptor, ACE2. Cryo-electron microscopy analysis of human ACE2 (hACE2), or mouse ACE2 (mACE2), in complex with the RBD of MASCp36, at 3.1 to 3.7 Å resolution, reveals the molecular basis for the receptor-binding switch. N501Y and Q493H enhance the binding affinity to hACE2, whereas triple mutations at N501Y/Q493H/K417N decrease affinity and reduce infectivity of MASCp36. Our study provides a platform for studying SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis, and unveils the molecular mechanism for its rapid adaptation and evolution.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Amino Acid Substitution , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Male , Mice , Protein Binding/genetics , Protein Domains/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
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