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biorxiv; 2023.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2023.09.12.557371


Although Rhinolophus bats harbor diverse clade 3 sarbecoviruses, the structural determinants of receptor tropism along with the antigenicity of their spike (S) glycoproteins remain uncharacterized. Here, we show that the African Rinolophus bat clade 3 sarbecovirus PRD-0038 S has a broad ACE2 usage and that RBD mutations further expand receptor promiscuity and enable human ACE2 utilization. We determined a cryoEM structure of the PRD-0038 RBD bound to R. alcyone ACE2, explaining receptor tropism and highlighting differences with SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2. Characterization of PRD-0038 S using cryoEM and monoclonal antibody reactivity revealed its distinct antigenicity relative to SARS-CoV-2 and identified PRD-0038 cross-neutralizing antibodies for pandemic preparedness. PRD-0038 S vaccination elicited greater titers of antibodies cross-reacting with vaccine-mismatched clade 2 and clade 1a sarbecoviruses compared to SARS-CoV-2 S due to broader antigenic targeting, motivating the inclusion of clade 3 antigens in next-generation vaccines for enhanced resilience to viral evolution.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.04.07.438818


The recent emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) and the recurrent spillovers of coronaviruses in the human population highlight the need for broadly neutralizing antibodies that are not affected by the ongoing antigenic drift and that can prevent or treat future zoonotic infections. Here, we describe a human monoclonal antibody (mAb), designated S2X259, recognizing a highly conserved cryptic receptor-binding domain (RBD) epitope and cross-reacting with spikes from all sarbecovirus clades. S2X259 broadly neutralizes spike-mediated entry of SARS-CoV-2 including the B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1 and B.1.427/B.1.429 VOC, as well as a wide spectrum of human and zoonotic sarbecoviruses through inhibition of ACE2 binding to the RBD. Furthermore, deep-mutational scanning and in vitro escape selection experiments demonstrate that S2X259 possesses a remarkably high barrier to the emergence of resistance mutants. We show that prophylactic administration of S2X259 protects Syrian hamsters against challenges with the prototypic SARS-CoV-2 and the B.1.351 variant, suggesting this mAb is a promising candidate for the prevention and treatment of emergent VOC and zoonotic infections. Our data unveil a key antigenic site targeted by broadly-neutralizing antibodies and will guide the design of pan-sarbecovirus vaccines.

biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.01.14.426475


SARS-CoV-2 entry into host cells is orchestrated by the spike (S) glycoprotein that contains an immunodominant receptor-binding domain (RBD) targeted by the largest fraction of neutralizing antibodies (Abs) in COVID-19 patient plasma. Little is known about neutralizing Abs binding to epitopes outside the RBD and their contribution to protection. Here, we describe 41 human monoclonal Abs (mAbs) derived from memory B cells, which recognize the SARS-CoV-2 S N-terminal domain (NTD) and show that a subset of them neutralize SARS-CoV-2 ultrapotently. We define an antigenic map of the SARS-CoV-2 NTD and identify a supersite recognized by all known NTD-specific neutralizing mAbs. These mAbs inhibit cell-to-cell fusion, activate effector functions, and protect Syrian hamsters from SARS-CoV-2 challenge. SARS-CoV-2 variants, including the 501Y.V2 and B.1.1.7 lineages, harbor frequent mutations localized in the NTD supersite suggesting ongoing selective pressure and the importance of NTD-specific neutralizing mAbs to protective immunity.