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1.
Cell Host Microbe ; 2022 Oct 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2237104

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 spread in humans results in continuous emergence of new variants, highlighting the need for vaccines with broad-spectrum antigenic coverage. Using inter-lineage chimera and mutation-patch strategies, we engineered a recombinant monomeric spike variant (STFK1628x) that contains key regions and residues across multiple SAR-CoV-2 variants. STFK1628x demonstrated high immunogenicity and mutually complementary antigenicity to its prototypic form (STFK). In hamsters, a bivalent vaccine composed of STFK and STFK1628x elicited high titers of broad-spectrum neutralizing antibodies to 19 circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants, including Omicron sublineages BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2, BA.2.12.1, BA.2.75, and BA.4/5. Furthermore, this vaccine conferred robust protection against intranasal challenges by either SARS-CoV-2 ancestral strain or immune-evasive Beta and Omicron BA.1. Strikingly, vaccination with the bivalent vaccine in hamsters effectively blocked within-cage virus transmission of ancestral SARS-CoV-2, Beta variant, and Omicron BA.1 to unvaccinated sentinels. Thus, our study provided insight and antigen candidates for the development of next-generation COVID-19 vaccines.

3.
Cell Rep ; 39(8): 110862, 2022 05 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1821171

ABSTRACT

The rapidly spreading Omicron variant is highly resistant to vaccines, convalescent sera, and neutralizing antibodies (nAbs), highlighting the urgent need for potent therapeutic nAbs. Here, a panel of human nAbs from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) convalescent patients show diverse neutralization against Omicron, of which XMA01 and XMA04 maintain nanomolar affinities and excellent neutralization (half maximal inhibitory concentration [IC50]: ∼20 ng/mL). nAb XMA09 shows weak but unattenuated neutralization against all variants of concern (VOCs) as well as SARS-CoV. Structural analysis reveals that the above three antibodies could synergistically bind to the receptor-binding domains (RBDs) of both wild-type and Omicron spikes and defines the critical determinants for nAb-mediated broad neutralizations. Three nAbs confer synergistic neutralization against Omicron, resulting from the inter-antibody interaction between XMA04 and XMA01(or XMA09). Furthermore, the XMA01/XMA04 cocktail provides synergistic protection against Beta and Omicron variant infections in hamsters. In summary, our results provide insights for the rational design of antibody cocktail therapeutics or universal vaccines against Omicron.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/therapy , Cricetinae , Humans , Immunization, Passive , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Serotherapy
4.
Cell Rep ; 38(12): 110558, 2022 03 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1797096

ABSTRACT

Mutations in the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) may alter viral host tropism and affect the activities of neutralizing antibodies. Here, we investigated 153 RBD mutants and 11 globally circulating variants of concern (VOCs) and variants of interest (VOIs) (including Omicron) for their antigenic changes and cross-species tropism in cells expressing 18 ACE2 orthologs. Several RBD mutations strengthened viral infectivity in cells expressing ACE2 orthologs of non-human animals, particularly those less susceptible to the ancestral strain. The mutations surrounding amino acids (aas) 439-448 and aa 484 are more likely to cause neutralization resistance. Strikingly, enhanced cross-species infection potential in the mouse and ferret, instead of the neutralization-escape scores of the mutations, account for the positive correlation with the cumulative prevalence of mutations in humans. These findings present insights for potential drivers of circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants and provide informative parameters for tracking and forecasting spreading mutations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Ferrets , Humans , Membrane Glycoproteins/metabolism , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Tropism , Viral Envelope Proteins
5.
Cell reports ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1728589

ABSTRACT

Zhang et al. show in vitro cross-species infectivity and neutralization-escape characteristics of 153 SARS-CoV-2 RBD mutants and 11 globally circulating VOC/VOI variants. They reveal an association between enhanced cross-species infection potential and the current cumulative prevalence of mutations, which can inform surveillance and forecasting of SARS-CoV-2 spike mutations.

6.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5652, 2021 09 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440473

ABSTRACT

The emergence of numerous variants of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, has presented new challenges to the global efforts to control the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we obtain two cross-neutralizing antibodies (7D6 and 6D6) that target Sarbecoviruses' receptor-binding domain (RBD) with sub-picomolar affinities and potently neutralize authentic SARS-CoV-2. Crystal structures show that both antibodies bind a cryptic site different from that recognized by existing antibodies and highly conserved across Sarbecovirus isolates. Binding of these two antibodies to the RBD clashes with the adjacent N-terminal domain and disrupts the viral spike. Both antibodies confer good resistance to mutations in the currently circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants. Thus, our results have direct relevance to public health as options for passive antibody therapeutics and even active prophylactics. They can also inform the design of pan-sarbecovirus vaccines.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Immunization, Passive/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Monoclonal/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Binding Sites/genetics , Binding Sites/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/administration & dosage , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/isolation & purification , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/metabolism , CHO Cells , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetulus , Epitopes/immunology , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mice , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics/prevention & control , Protein Multimerization , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sf9 Cells , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vero Cells
7.
Sci Transl Med ; 13(606)2021 08 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1319371

ABSTRACT

Multiple safe and effective vaccines that elicit immune responses against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are necessary to respond to the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Here, we developed a protein subunit vaccine composed of spike ectodomain protein (StriFK) plus a nitrogen bisphosphonate-modified zinc-aluminum hybrid adjuvant (FH002C). StriFK-FH002C generated substantially higher neutralizing antibody titers in mice, hamsters, and cynomolgus monkeys than those observed in plasma isolated from COVID-19 convalescent individuals. StriFK-FH002C also induced both TH1- and TH2-polarized helper T cell responses in mice. In hamsters, StriFK-FH002C immunization protected animals against SARS-CoV-2 challenge, as shown by the absence of virus-induced weight loss, fewer symptoms of disease, and reduced lung pathology. Vaccination of hamsters with StriFK-FH002C also reduced within-cage virus transmission to unvaccinated, cohoused hamsters. In summary, StriFK-FH002C represents an effective, protein subunit-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cricetinae , Humans , Mice , Protein Subunits , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
8.
Small Methods ; 5(2): 2001031, 2021 Feb 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-986422

ABSTRACT

The ongoing corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection, has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths. Cellular entry of SARS-CoV-2, which is mediated by the viral spike protein and ACE2 receptor, is an essential target for the development of vaccines, therapeutic antibodies, and drugs. Using a mammalian cell expression system, a genetically engineered sensor of fluorescent protein (Gamillus)-fused SARS-CoV-2 spike trimer (STG) to probe the viral entry process is developed. In ACE2-expressing cells, it is found that the STG probe has excellent performance in the live-cell visualization of receptor binding, cellular uptake, and intracellular trafficking of SARS-CoV-2 under virus-free conditions. The new system allows quantitative analyses of the inhibition potentials and detailed influence of COVID-19-convalescent human plasmas, neutralizing antibodies and compounds, providing a versatile tool for high-throughput screening and phenotypic characterization of SARS-CoV-2 entry inhibitors. This approach may also be adapted to develop a viral entry visualization system for other viruses.

9.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 2076-2090, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-913103

ABSTRACT

The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic was the result of the rapid transmission of a highly pathogenic coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), for which there is no efficacious vaccine or therapeutic. Toward the development of a vaccine, here we expressed and evaluated as potential candidates four versions of the spike (S) protein using an insect cell expression system: receptor binding domain (RBD), S1 subunit, the wild-type S ectodomain (S-WT), and the prefusion trimer-stabilized form (S-2P). We showed that RBD appears as a monomer in solution, whereas S1, S-WT, and S-2P associate as homotrimers with substantial glycosylation. Cryo-electron microscopy analyses suggested that S-2P assumes an identical trimer conformation as the similarly engineered S protein expressed in 293 mammalian cells but with reduced glycosylation. Overall, the four proteins confer excellent antigenicity with convalescent COVID-19 patient sera in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), yet show distinct reactivities in immunoblotting. RBD, S-WT and S-2P, but not S1, induce high neutralization titres (>3-log) in mice after a three-round immunization regimen. The high immunogenicity of S-2P could be maintained at the lowest dose (1 µg) with the inclusion of an aluminium adjuvant. Higher doses (20 µg) of S-2P can elicit high neutralization titres in non-human primates that exceed 40-times the mean titres measured in convalescent COVID-19 subjects. Our results suggest that the prefusion trimer-stabilized SARS-CoV-2 S-protein from insect cells may offer a potential candidate strategy for the development of a recombinant COVID-19 vaccine.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cell Line , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Macaca fascicularis , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Neutralization Tests , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Protein Domains/genetics , Protein Domains/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sf9 Cells , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spodoptera , Vaccination , Viral Envelope Proteins/immunology
10.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 2105-2113, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-913100

ABSTRACT

The global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a disaster for human society. A convenient and reliable neutralization assay is very important for the development of vaccines and novel drugs. In this study, a G protein-deficient vesicular stomatitis virus (VSVdG) bearing a truncated spike protein (S with C-terminal 18 amino acid truncation) was compared to that bearing the full-length spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 and showed much higher efficiency. A neutralization assay was established based on VSV-SARS-CoV-2-Sdel18 pseudovirus and hACE2-overexpressing BHK21 cells (BHK21-hACE2 cells). The experimental results can be obtained by automatically counting the number of EGFP-positive cells at 12 h after infection, making the assay convenient and high-throughput. The serum neutralizing titer measured by the VSV-SARS-CoV-2-Sdel18 pseudovirus assay has a good correlation with that measured by the wild type SARS-CoV-2 assay. Seven neutralizing monoclonal antibodies targeting the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 S protein were obtained. This efficient and reliable pseudovirus assay model could facilitate the development of new drugs and vaccines.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Neutralization Tests/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetinae , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vero Cells , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/immunology
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