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1.
Cell Rep ; 38(6): 110348, 2022 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1712500

ABSTRACT

The increasing prevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants with the ability to escape existing humoral protection conferred by previous infection and/or immunization necessitates the discovery of broadly reactive neutralizing antibodies (nAbs). Utilizing mRNA display, we identify a set of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) proteins and characterize the structures of nAbs that recognize epitopes in the S1 subunit of the S glycoprotein. These structural studies reveal distinct binding modes for several antibodies, including the targeting of rare cryptic epitopes in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of S that interact with angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) to initiate infection, as well as the S1 subdomain 1. Further, we engineer a potent ACE2-blocking nAb to sustain binding to S RBD with the E484K and L452R substitutions found in multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants. We demonstrate that mRNA display is an approach for the rapid identification of nAbs that can be used in combination to combat emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.

2.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293414

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT We assessed if immune responses are enhanced in CD-1 mice by heterologous vaccination with two different nucleic acid-based COVID-19 vaccines: a next-generation human adenovirus serotype 5 (hAd5)-vectored dual-antigen spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) vaccine (AdS+N) and a self-amplifying and -adjuvanted S RNA vaccine (SASA S) delivered by a nanostructured lipid carrier. The AdS+N vaccine encodes S modified with a fusion motif to increase cell-surface expression. The N antigen is modified with an Enhanced T-cell Stimulation Domain (N-ETSD) to direct N to the endosomal/lysosomal compartment to increase the potential for MHC class I and II stimulation. The S sequence in the SASA S vaccine comprises the D614G mutation, two prolines to stabilize S in the prefusion conformation, and 3 glutamines in the furin cleavage region to increase cross-reactivity across variants. CD-1 mice received vaccination by prime > boost homologous and heterologous combinations. Humoral responses to S were the highest with any regimen including the SASA S vaccine, and IgG against wild type S1 and Delta (B.1.617.2) variant S1 was generated at similar levels. An AdS+N boost of an SASA S prime enhanced both CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses to both S wild type and S Delta peptides relative to all other vaccine regimens. Sera from mice receiving SASA S homologous or heterologous vaccination were found to be highly neutralizing of all pseudovirus tested: Wuhan, Delta, and Beta strain pseudoviruses. The findings here support the clinical testing of heterologous vaccination by an SASA S > AdS+N regimen to provide increased protection against COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 variants.

3.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 14917, 2021 07 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1320238

ABSTRACT

We have developed a COVID-19 vaccine, hAd5 S-Fusion + N-ETSD, that expresses SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) proteins with modifications to increase immune responses delivered using a human adenovirus serotype 5 (hAd5) platform. Here, we demonstrate subcutaneous (SC) prime and SC boost vaccination of CD-1 mice with this dual-antigen vaccine elicits T-helper cell 1 (Th1) biased T-cell and humoral responses to both S and N that are greater than those seen with hAd5 S wild type delivering only unmodified S. We then compared SC to intranasal (IN) prime vaccination with SC or IN boosts and show that an IN prime with an IN boost is as effective at generating Th1 biased humoral responses as the other combinations tested, but an SC prime with an IN or SC boost elicits greater T cell responses. Finally, we used a combined SC plus IN (SC + IN) prime with or without a boost and found the SC + IN prime alone to be as effective in generating humoral and T-cell responses as the SC + IN prime with a boost. The finding that SC + IN prime-only delivery has the potential to provide broad immunity-including mucosal immunity-against SARS-CoV-2 supports further testing of this vaccine and delivery approach in animal models of viral challenge.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adenoviridae/genetics , Administration, Intranasal , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Female , Genetic Vectors , Hypodermoclysis , Immunity, Cellular/immunology , Immunity, Mucosal/immunology , Immunization, Secondary , Mice , Mice, Inbred Strains , Vaccination/methods
4.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 12740, 2021 06 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275953

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 variants replacing the first wave strain pose an increased threat by their potential ability to escape pre-existing humoral protection. An angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) decoy that competes with endogenous ACE2 for binding of the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor binding domain (S RBD) and inhibits infection may offer a therapeutic option with sustained efficacy against variants. Here, we used Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulation to predict ACE2 sequence substitutions that might increase its affinity for S RBD and screened candidate ACE2 decoys in vitro. The lead ACE2(T27Y/H34A)-IgG1FC fusion protein with enhanced S RBD affinity shows greater live SARS-CoV-2 virus neutralization capability than wild type ACE2. MD simulation was used to predict the effects of S RBD variant mutations on decoy affinity that was then confirmed by testing of an ACE2 Triple Decoy that included an additional enzyme activity-deactivating H374N substitution against mutated S RBD. The ACE2 Triple Decoy maintains high affinity for mutated S RBD, displays enhanced affinity for S RBD N501Y or L452R, and has the highest affinity for S RBD with both E484K and N501Y mutations, making it a viable therapeutic option for the prevention or treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection with a high likelihood of efficacy against variants.


Subject(s)
Amino Acid Substitution , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/metabolism , Drug Discovery/methods , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Amino Acid Sequence , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Mutation , Protein Binding/drug effects , Protein Domains/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization/drug effects
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