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2.
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.

4.
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.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Monoclonal/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Binding Sites , Binding, Competitive , COVID-19/virology , Cricetinae , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Crystallography, X-Ray , Dogs , Epitopes , Female , Humans , Madin Darby Canine Kidney Cells , Neutralization Tests , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
6.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5061, 2021 08 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1361634

ABSTRACT

The extent to which immune responses to natural infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and immunization with vaccines protect against variants of concern (VOC) is of increasing importance. Accordingly, here we analyse antibodies and T cells of a recently vaccinated, UK cohort, alongside those recovering from natural infection in early 2020. We show that neutralization of the VOC compared to a reference isolate of the original circulating lineage, B, is reduced: more profoundly against B.1.351 than for B.1.1.7, and in responses to infection or a single dose of vaccine than to a second dose of vaccine. Importantly, high magnitude T cell responses are generated after two vaccine doses, with the majority of the T cell response directed against epitopes that are conserved between the prototype isolate B and the VOC. Vaccination is required to generate high potency immune responses to protect against these and other emergent variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Carrier Proteins , Epitopes , Humans , Immunity , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
7.
EMBO Rep ; 22(8): e52447, 2021 08 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1278776

ABSTRACT

Cyclic GMP-AMP (cGAMP) is an immunostimulatory molecule produced by cGAS that activates STING. cGAMP is an adjuvant when administered alongside antigens. cGAMP is also incorporated into enveloped virus particles during budding. Here, we investigate whether inclusion of cGAMP within viral vaccine vectors enhances their immunogenicity. We immunise mice with virus-like particles (VLPs) containing HIV-1 Gag and the vesicular stomatitis virus envelope glycoprotein G (VSV-G). cGAMP loading of VLPs augments CD4 and CD8 T-cell responses. It also increases VLP- and VSV-G-specific antibody titres in a STING-dependent manner and enhances virus neutralisation, accompanied by increased numbers of T follicular helper cells. Vaccination with cGAMP-loaded VLPs containing haemagglutinin induces high titres of influenza A virus neutralising antibodies and confers protection upon virus challenge. This requires cGAMP inclusion within VLPs and is achieved at markedly reduced cGAMP doses. Similarly, cGAMP loading of VLPs containing the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein enhances Spike-specific antibody titres. cGAMP-loaded VLPs are thus an attractive platform for vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza Vaccines , Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle , Animals , Humans , Mice , Nucleotides, Cyclic , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle/genetics
8.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(2): e1009352, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1105835

ABSTRACT

Serological and plasmablast responses and plasmablast-derived IgG monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) have been analysed in three COVID-19 patients with different clinical severities. Potent humoral responses were detected within 3 weeks of onset of illness in all patients and the serological titre was elicited soon after or concomitantly with peripheral plasmablast response. An average of 13.7% and 3.5% of plasmablast-derived MAbs were reactive with virus spike glycoprotein or nucleocapsid, respectively. A subset of anti-spike (10 of 32) antibodies cross-reacted with other betacoronaviruses tested and harboured extensive somatic mutations, indicative of an expansion of memory B cells upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. Fourteen of 32 anti-spike MAbs, including five anti-receptor-binding domain (RBD), three anti-non-RBD S1 and six anti-S2, neutralised wild-type SARS-CoV-2 in independent assays. Anti-RBD MAbs were further grouped into four cross-inhibiting clusters, of which six antibodies from three separate clusters blocked the binding of RBD to ACE2 and five were neutralising. All ACE2-blocking anti-RBD antibodies were isolated from two recovered patients with prolonged fever, which is compatible with substantial ACE2-blocking response in their sera. Finally, the identification of non-competing pairs of neutralising antibodies would offer potential templates for the development of prophylactic and therapeutic agents against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/antagonists & inhibitors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Antibody-Producing Cells/immunology , Binding Sites , Epitopes , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Nucleocapsid/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
9.
Cell ; 184(8): 2183-2200.e22, 2021 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1086819

ABSTRACT

Antibodies are crucial to immune protection against SARS-CoV-2, with some in emergency use as therapeutics. Here, we identify 377 human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) recognizing the virus spike and focus mainly on 80 that bind the receptor binding domain (RBD). We devise a competition data-driven method to map RBD binding sites. We find that although antibody binding sites are widely dispersed, neutralizing antibody binding is focused, with nearly all highly inhibitory mAbs (IC50 < 0.1 µg/mL) blocking receptor interaction, except for one that binds a unique epitope in the N-terminal domain. Many of these neutralizing mAbs use public V-genes and are close to germline. We dissect the structural basis of recognition for this large panel of antibodies through X-ray crystallography and cryoelectron microscopy of 19 Fab-antigen structures. We find novel binding modes for some potently inhibitory antibodies and demonstrate that strongly neutralizing mAbs protect, prophylactically or therapeutically, in animal models.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Binding Sites, Antibody , CHO Cells , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetulus , Epitopes , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Models, Molecular , Protein Binding , Protein Structure, Tertiary , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vero Cells
10.
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl ; 60(1): 321-330, 2021 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-891871

ABSTRACT

Matching of symmetry at interfaces is a fundamental obstacle in molecular assembly. Virus-like particles (VLPs) are important vaccine platforms against pathogenic threats, including Covid-19. However, symmetry mismatch can prohibit vaccine nanoassembly. We established an approach for coupling VLPs to diverse antigen symmetries. SpyCatcher003 enabled efficient VLP conjugation and extreme thermal resilience. Many people had pre-existing antibodies to SpyTag:SpyCatcher but less to the 003 variants. We coupled the computer-designed VLP not only to monomers (SARS-CoV-2) but also to cyclic dimers (Newcastle disease, Lyme disease), trimers (influenza hemagglutinins), and tetramers (influenza neuraminidases). Even an antigen with dihedral symmetry could be displayed. For the global challenge of influenza, SpyTag-mediated display of trimer and tetramer antigens strongly induced neutralizing antibodies. SpyCatcher003 conjugation enables nanodisplay of diverse symmetries towards generation of potent vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , Nanostructures/chemistry , Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/analysis , Antibodies, Viral , Antigens, Viral/chemistry , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Freezing , Humans , Models, Molecular
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
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