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1.
Vaccine ; 40(47): 6839-6848, 2022 Nov 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2042193

ABSTRACT

The ongoing coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has drastically changed our way of life and continues to have an unmitigated socioeconomic impact across the globe. Research into potential vaccine design and production is focused on the spike (S) protein of the virus, which is critical for virus entry into host cells. Yet, whether the degree of glycosylation in the S protein is associated with vaccine efficacy remains unclear. Here, we first optimized the expression of the S protein in mammalian cells. While we found no significant discrepancy in purity, homogeneity, or receptor binding ability among S proteins derived from 293F cells (referred to as 293F S-2P), 293S GnTI- cells (defective in N-acetylglucosaminyl transferase I enzyme; 293S S-2P), or TN-5B1-4 insect cells (Bac S-2P), there was significant variation in the glycosylation patterns and thermal stability of the proteins. Compared with the partially glycosylated 293S S-2P or Bac S-2P, the fully glycosylated 293F S-2P exhibited higher binding reactivity to convalescent sera. In addition, 293F S-2P induced higher IgG and neutralizing antibody titres than 293S or Bac S-2P in mice. Furthermore, a prime-boost-boost regimen, using a combined immunization of S-2P proteins with various degrees of glycosylation, elicited a more robust neutralizing antibody response than a single S-2P alone. Collectively, this study provides insight into ways to design a more effective SARS-CoV-2 immunogen.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Humans , Mice , Animals , SARS-CoV-2 , Glycosylation , COVID-19/prevention & control , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Mammals/metabolism
2.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(34): e2204256119, 2022 08 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1991767

ABSTRACT

Antibody therapeutics for the treatment of COVID-19 have been highly successful. However, the recent emergence of the Omicron variant has posed a challenge, as it evades detection by most existing SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies (nAbs). Here, we successfully generated a panel of SARS-CoV-2/SARS-CoV cross-neutralizing antibodies by sequential immunization of the two pseudoviruses. Of the potential candidates, we found that nAbs X01, X10, and X17 offer broad neutralizing potential against most variants of concern, with X17 further identified as a Class 5 nAb with undiminished neutralization against the Omicron variant. Cryo-electron microscopy structures of the three antibodies together in complex with each of the spike proteins of the prototypical SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2, and Delta and Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2 defined three nonoverlapping conserved epitopes on the receptor-binding domain. The triple-antibody mixture exhibited enhanced resistance to viral evasion and effective protection against infection of the Beta variant in hamsters. Our findings will aid the development of antibody therapeutics and broad vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and its emerging variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Epitopes , SARS Virus , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Conserved Sequence , Cricetinae , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Mice , Neutralization Tests , SARS Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
3.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329405

ABSTRACT

Antibody therapeutics for the treatment of COVID-19 has been highly successful while faces a challenge of the recent emergence of the Omicron variant which escapes the majority of existing SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies (nAbs). Here, we successfully generated a panel of SARS-CoV-2/SARS-CoV cross-neutralizing antibodies by sequential immunization of the two pseudoviruses. Of which, nAbs X01, X10 and X17 showed broadly neutralizing breadths against most variants of concern (VOCs) and X17 was further identified as a Class 5 nAb with undiminished neutralization against the Omicron variant. Cryo-EM structures of three-antibody in complex with the spike proteins of prototyped SARS-CoV-2, Delta, Omicron and SARS-CoV defined three non-overlapping conserved epitopes on the receptor-binding domain (RBD). The triple antibody cocktail exhibited enhanced resistance to viral escape and effective protection against the infection of Beta variant in hamsters. Our finding will aid the development of both antibody therapeutics and broad vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and emerging variants.

4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-315306

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 still ravaging 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. Significantly, both antibodies confer good mutation resistance to 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, and can also inform the design of pan-sarbecovirus vaccines.

5.
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
6.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(8)2021 Jul 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389577

ABSTRACT

To date, SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has caused more than 188 million infections and 4.06 million deaths worldwide. The receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein has been regarded as an important target for vaccine and therapeutics development because it plays a key role in binding the human cell receptor ACE2 that is required for viral entry. However, it is not easy to detect RBD in Western blot using polyclonal antibody, suggesting that RBD may form a complicated conformation under native condition and bear rare linear epitope. So far, no linear epitope on RBD is reported. Thus, a monoclonal antibody (mAb) that recognizes linear epitope on RBD will become valuable. In the present study, an RBD-specific rabbit antibody named 9E1 was isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of immunized rabbit by RBD-specific single B cell sorting and mapped to a highly conserved linear epitope within twelve amino acids 480CNGVEGFNCYFP491 on RBD. 9E1 works well in Western blot on S protein and immunohistochemistry on the SARS-CoV-2 infected tissue sections. The results demonstrated that 9E1 can be used as a useful tool for pathological and functional studies of SARS-CoV-2.

7.
Theranostics ; 11(13): 6607-6615, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1231569

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection, which is responsible for the current COVID-19 pandemic, can cause life-threatening pneumonia, respiratory failure and even death. Characterizing SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis in primary human target cells and tissues is crucial for developing vaccines and therapeutics. However, given the limited access to clinical samples from COVID-19 patients, there is a pressing need for in vitro/in vivo models to investigate authentic SARS-CoV-2 infection in primary human lung cells or tissues with mature structures. The present study was designed to evaluate a humanized mouse model carrying human lung xenografts for SARS-CoV-2 infection in vivo. Methods: Human fetal lung tissue surgically grafted under the dorsal skin of SCID mice were assessed for growth and development after 8 weeks. Following SARS-CoV-2 inoculation into the differentiated lung xenografts, viral replication, cell-type tropism and histopathology of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and local cytokine/chemokine expression were determined over a 6-day period. The effect of IFN-α treatment against SARS-CoV-2 infection was tested in the lung xenografts. Results: Human lung xenografts expanded and developed mature structures closely resembling normal human lung. SARS-CoV-2 replicated and spread efficiently in the lung xenografts with the epithelial cells as the main target, caused severe lung damage, and induced a robust pro-inflammatory response. IFN-α treatment effectively inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in the lung xenografts. Conclusions: These data support the human lung xenograft mouse model as a useful and biological relevant tool that should facilitate studies on the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 lung infection and the evaluation of potential antiviral therapies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Lung/pathology , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Aborted Fetus , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Epithelial Cells/virology , Heterografts , Humans , Lung/immunology , Lung/virology , Lung Transplantation , Male , Mice , Mice, SCID , Primary Cell Culture , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Virus Replication
8.
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
9.
Clin Biochem ; 84: 73-78, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-612445

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: A novel coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, SARS-CoV-2) emerged in late 2019, causing an outbreak of pneumonia [coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)] globally. Although the use of ready-made reaction mixes can enable more rapid PCR-based diagnosis of COVID-19, the need to transport and store these mixes at low temperatures presents challenges to already overburdened logistics networks. METHODS: Here, we present an optimized freeze-drying procedure that allows SARS-CoV-2 PCR mixes to be transported and stored at ambient temperatures, without loss of activity. Additive-supplemented PCR mixes were freeze-dried. The residual moisture of the freeze-dried PCR mixes was measured by Karl-Fischer titration. RESULTS: We found that the freeze-dried PCR mixes with ~1.2% residual moisture are optimal for storage, transport, and reconstitution. The sensitivity, specificity, and repeatability of the freeze-dried reagents were similar to those of freshly prepared, wet reagents. The freeze-dried mixes retained activity at room temperature (18 ~ 25 °C) for 28 days, and for 14 and 10 days when stored at 37 °C and 56 °C, respectively. CONCLUSION: The uptake of this approach will ease logistical challenges faced by transport networks and make more cold storage space available at diagnosis and hospital laboratories.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , DNA Primers/chemistry , DNA, Viral/analysis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Coronavirus Infections/virology , DNA, Viral/genetics , Freeze Drying , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Temperature
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