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PubMed; 2022.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-336964


As SARS-CoV-2 variants of concerns (VOCs) continue to emerge, cross-neutralizing antibody responses become key towards next-generation design of a more universal COVID-19 vaccine. By analyzing published data from the literature, we report here that the combination of germline genes IGHV2-5/IGLV2-14 represents a public antibody response to the receptor-binding domain (RBD) that potently cross-neutralizes all VOCs to date, including Omicron and its sub-lineages. Detailed molecular analysis shows that the complementarity-determining region H3 sequences of IGHV2-5/IGLV2-14-encoded RBD antibodies have a preferred length of 11 amino acids and a conserved HxIxxI motif. In addition, these antibodies have a strong allelic preference due to an allelic polymorphism at amino-acid residue 54 of IGHV2-5, which locates at the paratope. These findings have important implications for understanding cross-neutralizing antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 and its heterogenicity at the population level as well as the development of a universal COVID-19 vaccine.

Preprint in English | EMBASE | ID: ppcovidwho-326996


Vaccine boosters and infection can facilitate the development of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies with improved potency and breadth. Here, we observed super-immunity in a camelid extensively immunized with the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD). We rapidly isolated a large repertoire of specific ultrahigh-affinity nanobodies that bind strongly to all known sarbecovirus clades using integrative proteomics. These pan-sarbecovirus nanobodies (psNbs) are highly effective against SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 variants including the Omicron, with the best median neutralization potency at single-digit ng/ml. Structural determinations of 13 psNbs with the SARS-CoV-2 spike or RBD revealed five epitope classes, providing insights into the mechanisms and evolution of their broad activities. The highly evolved psNbs target small, flat, and flexible epitopes that contain over 75% of conserved RBD surface residues. Their potencies are strongly and negatively correlated with the distance of the epitopes to the receptor binding sites. A highly potent, inhalable and bispecific psNb (PiN-31) was developed. Our findings inform on the development of broadly protective vaccines and therapeutics.

Preprint in English | EMBASE | ID: ppcovidwho-326836


Studying the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 informs on how the human immune system can respond to antigenic variants as well as other SARS-related viruses. Here, we structurally and functionally characterized a potent human antibody ADI-62113 that also neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and cross-reacts with many other sarbecoviruses. A YYDRxG motif encoded by IGHD3-22 in CDR H3 facilitates targeting to a highly conserved epitope on the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain. A computational search for a YYDRxG pattern in publicly available sequences identified many antibodies with broad neutralization activity against SARS-CoV-2 variants and SARS-CoV. Thus, the YYDRxG motif represents a common convergent solution for the human humoral immune system to counteract sarbecoviruses. These findings also suggest an epitope targeting strategy to identify potent and broadly neutralizing antibodies that can aid in the design of pan-sarbecovirus vaccines and antibody therapeutics.

Preprint in English | MEDLINE | ID: ppcovidwho-326687


The emergence of current SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) and potential future spillovers of SARS-like coronaviruses into humans pose a major threat to human health and the global economy 1-7 . Development of broadly effective coronavirus vaccines that can mitigate these threats is needed 8, 9 . Notably, several recent studies have revealed that vaccination of recovered COVID-19 donors results in enhanced nAb responses compared to SARS-CoV-2 infection or vaccination alone 10-13 . Here, we utilized a targeted donor selection strategy to isolate a large panel of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) to sarbecoviruses from two such donors. Many of the bnAbs are remarkably effective in neutralization against sarbecoviruses that use ACE2 for viral entry and a substantial fraction also show notable binding to non-ACE2-using sarbecoviruses. The bnAbs are equally effective against most SARS-CoV-2 VOCs and many neutralize the Omicron variant. Neutralization breadth is achieved by bnAb binding to epitopes on a relatively conserved face of the receptor binding domain (RBD) as opposed to strain-specific nAbs to the receptor binding site that are commonly elicited in SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination 14-18 . Consistent with targeting of conserved sites, select RBD bnAbs exhibited in vivo protective efficacy against diverse SARS-like coronaviruses in a prophylaxis challenge model. The generation of a large panel of potent bnAbs provides new opportunities and choices for next-generation antibody prophylactic and therapeutic applications and, importantly, provides a molecular basis for effective design of pan-sarbecovirus vaccines.

Preprint in English | MEDLINE | ID: ppcovidwho-326636


Broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) to coronaviruses (CoVs) are valuable in their own right as prophylactic and therapeutic reagents to treat diverse CoVs and, importantly, as templates for rational pan-CoV vaccine design. We recently described a bnAb, CC40.8, from a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-convalescent donor that exhibits broad reactivity with human beta-coronaviruses (beta-CoVs). Here, we showed that CC40.8 targets the conserved S2 stem-helix region of the coronavirus spike fusion machinery. We determined a crystal structure of CC40.8 Fab with a SARS-CoV-2 S2 stem-peptide at 1.6 A resolution and found that the peptide adopted a mainly helical structure. Conserved residues in beta-CoVs interacted with CC40.8 antibody, thereby providing a molecular basis for its broad reactivity. CC40.8 exhibited in vivo protective efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 challenge in two animal models. In both models, CC40.8-treated animals exhibited less weight loss and reduced lung viral titers compared to controls. Furthermore, we noted CC40.8-like bnAbs are relatively rare in human COVID-19 infection and therefore their elicitation may require rational structure-based vaccine design strategies. Overall, our study describes a target on beta-CoV spike proteins for protective antibodies that may facilitate the development of pan-beta-CoV vaccines. SUMMARY: A human mAb isolated from a COVID-19 donor defines a protective cross-neutralizing epitope for pan-beta-CoV vaccine design strategies.