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1.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-313733

ABSTRACT

Although human antibodies elicited by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nucleocapsid (N) protein are profoundly boosted upon infection, little is known about the function of N-reactive antibodies. Herein, we isolated and profiled a panel of 32 N protein-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from a quick recovery coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) convalescent patient who had dominant antibody responses to the SARS-CoV-2 N protein rather than to the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein. The complex structure of the N protein RNA binding domain with the mAb with the highest binding affinity (nCoV396) revealed changes in the epitopes and antigen’s allosteric regulation. Functionally, a virus-free complement hyper-activation analysis demonstrated that nCoV396 specifically compromises the N protein-induced complement hyper-activation, which is a risk factor for the morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 patients, thus laying the foundation for the identification of functional anti-N protein mAbs.

2.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 01 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625933

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 epidemic is raging around the world. Neutralizing antibodies are powerful tools for the prevention and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Antibody CR3022, a SARS-CoV neutralizing antibody, was found to cross-react with SARS-CoV-2, but its affinity was lower than that of its binding with SARS-CoV, which greatly limited the further development of CR3022 against SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, it is necessary to improve its affinity to SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. In this study, the structure-based molecular simulations were utilized to virtually mutate the possible key residues in the complementarity-determining regions (CDRs) of the CR3022 antibody. According to the criteria of mutation energy, the mutation sites that have the potential to impact the antibody affinity were then selected. Then optimized CR3022 mutants with the enhanced affinity were further identified and verified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), surface plasma resonance (SPR) and autoimmune reactivity experiments. Finally, molecular dynamics (MD) simulation and binding free energy calculation (MM/PBSA) were performed on the wild-type CR3022 and its two double-site mutants to understand in more detail the contribution of these sites to the higher affinity. It was found that the binding affinity of the CR3022 antibody could be significantly enhanced more than ten times after the introduction of the S103F/Y mutation in HCDR-3 and the S33R mutation in LCDR-1. The additional hydrogen-bonding, hydrophobic interactions, as well as salt-bridges formed between the modified double-site mutated antibody and SARS-CoV-2 RBD were identified. The computational and experimental results clearly demonstrated that the affinity of the modified antibody has been greatly enhanced. This study indicates that CR3022 as a neutralizing antibody recognizing the conserved region of RBD against SARS-CoV with cross-reactivity with SARS-CoV-2, a different member in a large family of coronaviruses, could be improved by the computational and experimental approaches which provided insights for developing antibody drugs against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Monoclonal/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibody Affinity , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Cross Reactions , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
3.
Molecules ; 26(23)2021 Dec 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555019

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is highly homologous to SARS-CoV. To date, the main protease (Mpro) of SARS-CoV-2 is regarded as an important drug target for the treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Some experiments confirmed that several HIV protease inhibitors present the inhibitory effects on the replication of SARS-CoV-2 by inhibiting Mpro. However, the mechanism of action has still not been studied very clearly. In this work, the interaction mechanism of four HIV protease inhibitors Darunavir (DRV), Lopinavir (LPV), Nelfinavir (NFV), and Ritonavire (RTV) targeting SARS-CoV-2 Mpro was explored by applying docking, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, and MM-GBSA methods using the broad-spectrum antiviral drug Ribavirin (RBV) as the negative and nonspecific control. Our results revealed that LPV, RTV, and NFV have higher binding affinities with Mpro, and they all interact with catalytic residues His41 and the other two key amino acids Met49 and Met165. Pharmacophore model analysis further revealed that the aromatic ring, hydrogen bond donor, and hydrophobic group are the essential infrastructure of Mpro inhibitors. Overall, this study applied computational simulation methods to study the interaction mechanism of HIV-1 protease inhibitors with SARS-CoV-2 Mpro, and the findings provide useful insights for the development of novel anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents for the treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Drug Design , HIV Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Humans , Protein Binding
4.
Microbiol Spectr ; 9(2): e0135221, 2021 10 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526454

ABSTRACT

The emerging new lineages of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) have marked a new phase of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Understanding the recognition mechanisms of potent neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (NAbs) against the spike protein is pivotal for developing new vaccines and antibody drugs. Here, we isolated several monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor-binding domain (S-RBD) from the B cell receptor repertoires of a SARS-CoV-2 convalescent. Among these MAbs, the antibody nCoV617 demonstrates the most potent neutralizing activity against authentic SARS-CoV-2 infection, as well as prophylactic and therapeutic efficacies against the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) transgenic mouse model in vivo. The crystal structure of S-RBD in complex with nCoV617 reveals that nCoV617 mainly binds to the back of the "ridge" of RBD and shares limited binding residues with ACE2. Under the background of the S-trimer model, it potentially binds to both "up" and "down" conformations of S-RBD. In vitro mutagenesis assays show that mutant residues found in the emerging new lineage B.1.1.7 of SARS-CoV-2 do not affect nCoV617 binding to the S-RBD. These results provide a new human-sourced neutralizing antibody against the S-RBD and assist vaccine development. IMPORTANCE COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a serious threat to global health and the economy, so it is necessary to find safe and effective antibody drugs and treatments. The receptor-binding domain (RBD) in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is responsible for binding to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. It contains a variety of dominant neutralizing epitopes and is an important antigen for the development of new coronavirus antibodies. The significance of our research lies in the determination of new epitopes, the discovery of antibodies against RBD, and the evaluation of the antibodies' neutralizing effect. The identified antibodies here may be drug candidates for the development of clinical interventions for SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/antagonists & inhibitors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Binding Sites/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Crystallography, X-Ray , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/immunology , Viral Load/drug effects
5.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 2697, 2021 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225508

ABSTRACT

Although human antibodies elicited by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nucleocapsid (N) protein are profoundly boosted upon infection, little is known about the function of N-reactive antibodies. Herein, we isolate and profile a panel of 32 N protein-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from a quick recovery coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) convalescent patient who has dominant antibody responses to the SARS-CoV-2 N protein rather than to the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein. The complex structure of the N protein RNA binding domain with the highest binding affinity mAb (nCoV396) reveals changes in the epitopes and antigen's allosteric regulation. Functionally, a virus-free complement hyperactivation analysis demonstrates that nCoV396 specifically compromises the N protein-induced complement hyperactivation, which is a risk factor for the morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 patients, thus laying the foundation for the identification of functional anti-N protein mAbs.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/pharmacology , COVID-19/immunology , Complement Activation/drug effects , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Allosteric Regulation , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Affinity , Antigen-Antibody Complex/chemistry , Convalescence , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Crystallography, X-Ray , Epitopes , Humans , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Protein Conformation
6.
Comb Chem High Throughput Screen ; 24(7): 1069-1082, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-892411

ABSTRACT

Aims & Objective: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the human coronavirus 2019 (HCoV-19, also known as SARS-CoV-2) infection is currently in a global outbreak. COVID-19 has posed a huge threat to public health and economic stability worldwide. CR3022, a human monoclonal neutralizing antibody isolated from a Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) recovery patient, was confirmed to be able to bind the S protein of HCoV-19 with a certain degree of neutralizing activity. Crystal structural information indicated that CR3022 could bind to the epitope on the receptor binding domain (RBD) of HCoV-19, whose epitope consists of 28 amino acids, and 24 of them are conserved in SARS-CoV of SARS. However, the crystal structure is only a static conformation at a certain moment in time, and it cannot provide dynamic details of the interaction between antigen and antibody. METHODS: In this study, molecular dynamics (MD) simulation combined with MM/PBSA and CAS methods were performed to investigate the mechanism of binding of CR3022 against SARS-CoVRBD and HCoV-19-RBD in order to determine their holographic dynamic information. RESULTS: It was found that the CR3022-SARS-CoV-RBD complex was more stable during 100ns MD run than that of the CR3022-HCoV-19-RBD system. There were common conservative amino acids on the ß2 sheet of RBD, including Tyr369, Phe377, Lys378, Tyr380, Gly381, Lys386, Leu390 and others. These conservative amino acids play significant roles in the binding process of CR3022 antibody against SARS-CoV-RBD and HCoV-19-RBD. It was also found that the binding mode of CR3022 to its native target SARS-CoV-RBD is more comprehensive and uniform. Moreover, the ß2 sheet residue Thr385 and non-ß2 sheet residues Arg408 and Asp428 of the CR3022-SARS-CoV-RBD system were found to be crucial for their binding affinities, thus forming a special conformational epitope. However, these key amino acids are not present in the CR3022-HCoV-19-RBD system. The binding mode of CR3022 and HCoV-19-RBD is similar to that of SARS-CoV-RBD, but the deficiency of crucial hydrogen-bonds and salt-bridges. Therefore, the binding of CR3022 and HCoV-19-RBD only draws on the partial mode of the binding of CR3022 and SARS-CoV-RBD, so there is a loss of affinity. CONCLUSION: Thus, in order to better fight the epidemic of COVID-19 with the CR3022 antibody, this antibody needs to further improve the neutralization efficiency of HCoV-19 through mutation of it's CDR region.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Computational Biology , SARS Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Binding Sites, Antibody , Epitopes/metabolism , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation
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