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Elife ; 102021 12 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555771


The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants threatens current vaccines and therapeutic antibodies and urgently demands powerful new therapeutics that can resist viral escape. We therefore generated a large nanobody repertoire to saturate the distinct and highly conserved available epitope space of SARS-CoV-2 spike, including the S1 receptor binding domain, N-terminal domain, and the S2 subunit, to identify new nanobody binding sites that may reflect novel mechanisms of viral neutralization. Structural mapping and functional assays show that indeed these highly stable monovalent nanobodies potently inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection, display numerous neutralization mechanisms, are effective against emerging variants of concern, and are resistant to mutational escape. Rational combinations of these nanobodies that bind to distinct sites within and between spike subunits exhibit extraordinary synergy and suggest multiple tailored therapeutic and prophylactic strategies.

COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Domain Antibodies/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Binding Sites , Camelids, New World/immunology , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Male , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
Science ; 374(6571): 1099-1106, 2021 Nov 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467657


Molecular virology tools are critical for basic studies of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and for developing new therapeutics. Experimental systems that do not rely on viruses capable of spread are needed for potential use in lower-containment settings. In this work, we use a yeast-based reverse genetics system to develop spike-deleted SARS-CoV-2 self-replicating RNAs. These noninfectious self-replicating RNAs, or replicons, can be trans-complemented with viral glycoproteins to generate replicon delivery particles for single-cycle delivery into a range of cell types. This SARS-CoV-2 replicon system represents a convenient and versatile platform for antiviral drug screening, neutralization assays, host factor validation, and viral variant characterization.

RNA, Viral/genetics , Replicon/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cell Line , Humans , Interferons/pharmacology , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Mutation , Plasmids , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Replicon/genetics , Reverse Genetics , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Saccharomyces cerevisiae/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Virion/genetics , Virion/physiology , Virus Replication
J Cell Biol ; 219(10)2020 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-713813


With the rapid global spread of SARS-CoV-2, we have become acutely aware of the inadequacies of our ability to respond to viral epidemics. Although disrupting the viral life cycle is critical for limiting viral spread and disease, it has proven challenging to develop targeted and selective therapeutics. Synthetic lethality offers a promising but largely unexploited strategy against infectious viral disease; as viruses infect cells, they abnormally alter the cell state, unwittingly exposing new vulnerabilities in the infected cell. Therefore, we propose that effective therapies can be developed to selectively target the virally reconfigured host cell networks that accompany altered cellular states to cripple the host cell that has been converted into a virus factory, thus disrupting the viral life cycle.

Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Host Microbial Interactions/drug effects , Virus Diseases/drug therapy , Virus Replication/drug effects , Drug Discovery , Humans , Immunologic Factors/pharmacology , Metabolic Networks and Pathways/drug effects , Protein Interaction Maps , Proteolysis , RNA Viruses/drug effects , RNA Viruses/physiology , Virus Diseases/genetics