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1.
Cell ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1601904

ABSTRACT

On the 24th November 2021 the sequence of a new SARS CoV-2 viral isolate Omicron-B.1.1.529 was announced, containing far more mutations in Spike (S) than previously reported variants. Neutralization titres of Omicron by sera from vaccinees and convalescent subjects infected with early pandemic as well as Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta are substantially reduced or fail to neutralize. Titres against Omicron are boosted by third vaccine doses and are high in cases both vaccinated and infected by Delta. Mutations in Omicron knock out or substantially reduce neutralization by most of a large panel of potent monoclonal antibodies and antibodies under commercial development. Omicron S has structural changes from earlier viruses, combining mutations conferring tight binding to ACE2 to unleash evolution driven by immune escape, leading to a large number of mutations in the ACE2 binding site which rebalance receptor affinity to that of early pandemic viruses. A comprehensive analysis of sera from vaccinees, convalescent patients infected previously by multiple variants and potent monoclonal antibodies from early in the COVID-19 pandemic reveals a substantial overall reduction the ability to neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant, which a third vaccine dose seems to ameliorate. Structural analyses of the Omicron RBD suggest a selective pressure enabling the virus bind ACE2 with increased affinity that is offset by other changes in the receptor binding motif that facilitates immune escape.

2.
Cell ; 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1592756

ABSTRACT

Summary On the 24th November 2021 the sequence of a new SARS CoV-2 viral isolate Omicron-B.1.1.529 was announced, containing far more mutations in Spike (S) than previously reported variants. Neutralization titres of Omicron by sera from vaccinees and convalescent subjects infected with early pandemic as well as Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta are substantially reduced or fail to neutralize. Titres against Omicron are boosted by third vaccine doses and are high in cases both vaccinated and infected by Delta. Mutations in Omicron knock out or substantially reduce neutralization by most of a large panel of potent monoclonal antibodies and antibodies under commercial development. Omicron S has structural changes from earlier viruses, combining mutations conferring tight binding to ACE2 to unleash evolution driven by immune escape, leading to a large number of mutations in the ACE2 binding site which rebalance receptor affinity to that of early pandemic viruses.

3.
Preprint | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-297096

ABSTRACT

On the 24th November 2021 the sequence of a new SARS CoV-2 viral isolate spreading rapidly in Southern Africa was announced. Omicron contains a total of 30 substitutions plus deletions and an insertion in Spike, far more than any previously reported variant. The mutations include those previously identified by In-vitro evolution to contribute to high-affinity binding to ACE2, including mutations Q498R and N501Y critical in forming additional interactions in the interface. Together with increased charge complementarity between the RBD and ACE2, these substantially increase affinity and potentially virus transmissibility through increased syncytia formation. Further mutations promote immune evasion. We have studied the binding of a large panel of potent monoclonal antibodies generated from early pandemic or Beta infected cases. Mutations in Omicron will likely compromise the binding of many of these and additionally, the binding of antibodies under commercial development, however residual binding should provide protection from severe disease.

4.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293860

ABSTRACT

There are as yet no licenced therapeutics for the COVID-19 pandemic. The causal coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) binds host cells via a trimeric Spike whose receptor binding domain (RBD) recognizes angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), initiating conformational changes that drive membrane fusion. We find that monoclonal antibody CR3022 binds the RBD tightly, neutralising SARS-CoV-2 and report the crystal structure at 2.4 A of the Fab/RBD complex. Some crystals are suitable for screening for entry-blocking inhibitors. The highly conserved, structure-stabilising, CR3022 epitope is inaccessible in the prefusion Spike, suggesting that CR3022 binding would facilitate conversion to the fusion-incompetent post-fusion state. Cryo-EM analysis confirms that incubation of Spike with CR3022 Fab leads to destruction of the prefusion trimer. Presentation of this cryptic epitope in an RBD-based vaccine might advantageously focus immune responses. Binders at this epitope may be useful therapeutically, possibly in synergy with an antibody blocking receptor attachment.<br><br>Funding: This work was supported by a grant from the CAMS-Oxford Institute to D.I.S. E.E.F and J.Ren are supported by the Wellcome Trust (101122/Z/13/Z), Y.Z. by Cancer Research UK (C375/A17721) and D.I.S. and E.E.F. by the UK Medical Research Council (MR/N00065X/1). J.H. is supported by a grant from the EPA Cephalosporin Fund. PPUK is funded by the Rosalind Franklin Institute EPSRC Grant no. EP/S025243/1. The National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre Funding Scheme supports G.R.S. together with the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) Innovation Fund for Medical Science (CIFMS), China (grant number: 2018-I2M-2-002), which also supports D.I.S. G.R.S. is also supported as a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator (grant 095541/A/11/Z). T.M. is supported by Cancer Research UK grants C20724/A14414 and C20724/A26752 to Christian Siebold. This is a contribution from the UK Instruct-ERIC Centre. The Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics is supported by the Wellcome Trust (grant 090532/Z/09/Z). Virus used for the neutralisation assays was a gift from Julian Druce, Doherty Centre, Melbourne, Australia. <br><br>Conflict of Interest: The authors declare no competing interests.

5.
Cell Host Microbe ; 2021 Nov 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1536483

ABSTRACT

Alpha-B.1.1.7, Beta-B.1.351, Gamma-P.1, and Delta-B.1.617.2 variants of SARS-CoV-2 express multiple mutations in the spike protein (S). These may alter the antigenic structure of S, causing escape from natural or vaccine-induced immunity. Beta is particularly difficult to neutralize using serum induced by early pandemic SARS-CoV-2 strains and is most antigenically separated from Delta. To understand this, we generated 674 mAbs from Beta-infected individuals and performed a detailed structure-function analysis of the 27 most potent mAbs: one binding the spike N-terminal domain (NTD), the rest the receptor-binding domain (RBD). Two of these RBD-binding mAbs recognize a neutralizing epitope conserved between SARS-CoV-1 and -2, while 18 target mutated residues in Beta: K417N, E484K, and N501Y. There is a major response to N501Y, including a public IgVH4-39 sequence, with E484K and K417N also targeted. Recognition of these key residues underscores why serum from Beta cases poorly neutralizes early pandemic and Delta viruses.

6.
Theranostics ; 12(1): 1-17, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512993

ABSTRACT

Background: Administration of potent anti-receptor-binding domain (RBD) monoclonal antibodies has been shown to curtail viral shedding and reduce hospitalization in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, the structure-function analysis of potent human anti-RBD monoclonal antibodies and its links to the formulation of antibody cocktails remains largely elusive. Methods: Previously, we isolated a panel of neutralizing anti-RBD monoclonal antibodies from convalescent patients and showed their neutralization efficacy in vitro. Here, we elucidate the mechanism of action of antibodies and dissect antibodies at the epitope level, which leads to a formation of a potent antibody cocktail. Results: We found that representative antibodies which target non-overlapping epitopes are effective against wild type virus and recently emerging variants of concern, whilst being encoded by antibody genes with few somatic mutations. Neutralization is associated with the inhibition of binding of viral RBD to ACE2 and possibly of the subsequent fusion process. Structural analysis of representative antibodies, by cryo-electron microscopy and crystallography, reveals that they have some unique aspects that are of potential value while sharing some features in common with previously reported neutralizing monoclonal antibodies. For instance, one has a common VH 3-53 public variable region yet is unusually resilient to mutation at residue 501 of the RBD. We evaluate the in vivo efficacy of an antibody cocktail consisting of two potent non-competing anti-RBD antibodies in a Syrian hamster model. We demonstrate that the cocktail prevents weight loss, reduces lung viral load and attenuates pulmonary inflammation in hamsters in both prophylactic and therapeutic settings. Although neutralization of one of these antibodies is abrogated by the mutations of variant B.1.351, it is also possible to produce a bi-valent cocktail of antibodies both of which are resilient to variants B.1.1.7, B.1.351 and B.1.617.2. Conclusions: These findings support the up-to-date and rational design of an anti-RBD antibody cocktail as a therapeutic candidate against COVID-19.

9.
Cell ; 184(11): 2939-2954.e9, 2021 05 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1343152

ABSTRACT

Terminating the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic relies upon pan-global vaccination. Current vaccines elicit neutralizing antibody responses to the virus spike derived from early isolates. However, new strains have emerged with multiple mutations, including P.1 from Brazil, B.1.351 from South Africa, and B.1.1.7 from the UK (12, 10, and 9 changes in the spike, respectively). All have mutations in the ACE2 binding site, with P.1 and B.1.351 having a virtually identical triplet (E484K, K417N/T, and N501Y), which we show confer similar increased affinity for ACE2. We show that, surprisingly, P.1 is significantly less resistant to naturally acquired or vaccine-induced antibody responses than B.1.351, suggesting that changes outside the receptor-binding domain (RBD) impact neutralization. Monoclonal antibody (mAb) 222 neutralizes all three variants despite interacting with two of the ACE2-binding site mutations. We explain this through structural analysis and use the 222 light chain to largely restore neutralization potency to a major class of public antibodies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Binding Sites , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Humans , Immune Evasion , Immunization, Passive , Mutation , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sequence Deletion , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccination , Vaccines/immunology
10.
Cell ; 184(9): 2348-2361.e6, 2021 04 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1095900

ABSTRACT

The race to produce vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) began when the first sequence was published, and this forms the basis for vaccines currently deployed globally. Independent lineages of SARS-CoV-2 have recently been reported: UK, B.1.1.7; South Africa, B.1.351; and Brazil, P.1. These variants have multiple changes in the immunodominant spike protein that facilitates viral cell entry via the angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) receptor. Mutations in the receptor recognition site on the spike are of great concern for their potential for immune escape. Here, we describe a structure-function analysis of B.1.351 using a large cohort of convalescent and vaccinee serum samples. The receptor-binding domain mutations provide tighter ACE2 binding and widespread escape from monoclonal antibody neutralization largely driven by E484K, although K417N and N501Y act together against some important antibody classes. In a number of cases, it would appear that convalescent and some vaccine serum offers limited protection against this variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Clinical Trials as Topic , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Models, Molecular , Mutation/genetics , Neutralization Tests , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells
12.
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
13.
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
14.
Cell Host Microbe ; 28(3): 445-454.e6, 2020 09 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-615004

ABSTRACT

There are as yet no licensed therapeutics for the COVID-19 pandemic. The causal coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) binds host cells via a trimeric spike whose receptor binding domain (RBD) recognizes angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, initiating conformational changes that drive membrane fusion. We find that the monoclonal antibody CR3022 binds the RBD tightly, neutralizing SARS-CoV-2, and report the crystal structure at 2.4 Å of the Fab/RBD complex. Some crystals are suitable for screening for entry-blocking inhibitors. The highly conserved, structure-stabilizing CR3022 epitope is inaccessible in the prefusion spike, suggesting that CR3022 binding facilitates conversion to the fusion-incompetent post-fusion state. Cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) analysis confirms that incubation of spike with CR3022 Fab leads to destruction of the prefusion trimer. Presentation of this cryptic epitope in an RBD-based vaccine might advantageously focus immune responses. Binders at this epitope could be useful therapeutically, possibly in synergy with an antibody that blocks receptor attachment.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Allosteric Site , Amino Acid Sequence , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , Antigen-Antibody Complex/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Crystallography, X-Ray , Host Microbial Interactions/immunology , Humans , Models, Molecular , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Viral Vaccines/therapeutic use , Virus Internalization
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