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biorxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.09.25.509344


The pandemic of COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 continues to spread around the world. Mutant strains of SARS-CoV-2 are constantly emerging. At present, Omicron variants have become mainstream. In this work, we carried out a systematic and comprehensive analysis of the reported spike protein antibodies, counting the antibodies' epitopes and genotypes. We further comprehensively analyzed the impact of Omicron mutations on antibody epitopes and classified these antibodies according to their binding patterns. We found that the epitopes of one class of antibodies were significantly less affected by Omicron mutations than other classes. Binding and virus neutralization experiments show that such antibodies can effectively inhibit the immune escape of Omicron. Cryo-EM results show that this class of antibodies utilizes a conserved mechanism to neutralize SARS-CoV-2. Our results greatly help us deeply understand the impact of Omicron mutations. At the same time, it also provides guidance and insights for developing Omicron antibodies and vaccines.

medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.05.24.20101238


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused over 220,000 deaths so far and is still an ongoing global health problem. However, the immunopathological changes of key types of immune cells during and after virus infection remain unclear. Here, we enriched CD3+ and CD19+ lymphocytes from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of COVID-19 patients (severe patients and recovered patients at early or late stages) and healthy people (SARS-CoV-2 negative) and revealed transcriptional profiles and changes in these lymphocytes by comprehensive single-cell transcriptome and V(D)J recombination analyses. We found that although the T lymphocytes were decreased in the blood of patients with virus infection, the remaining T cells still highly expressed inflammatory genes and persisted for a while after recovery in patients. We also observed the potential transition from effector CD8 T cells to central memory T cells in recovered patients at the late stage. Among B lymphocytes, we analyzed the expansion trajectory of a subtype of plasma cells in severe COVID-19 patients and traced the source as atypical memory B cells (AMBCs). Additional BCR and TCR analyses revealed a high level of clonal expansion in patients with severe COVID-19, especially of B lymphocytes, and the clonally expanded B cells highly expressed genes related to inflammatory responses and lymphocyte activation. V-J gene usage and clonal types of higher frequency in COVID-19 patients were also summarized. Taken together, our results provide crucial insights into the immune response against patients with severe COVID-19 and recovered patients and valuable information for the development of vaccines and therapeutic strategies.

COVID-19 , Tumor Virus Infections
biorxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.05.08.083964


The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) presents a global public health threat. Most research on therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2 focused on the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the Spike (S) protein, whereas the vulnerable epitopes and functional mechanism of non-RBD regions are poorly understood. Here we isolated and characterized monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) derived from convalescent COVID-19 patients. An mAb targeting the N-terminal domain (NTD) of the SARS-CoV-2 S protein, named 4A8, exhibits high neutralization potency against both authentic and pseudotyped SARS-CoV-2, although it does not block the interaction between angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor and S protein. The cryo-EM structure of the SARS-CoV-2 S protein in complex with 4A8 has been determined to an overall resolution of 3.1 Angstrom and local resolution of 3.4 Angstrom for the 4A8-NTD interface, revealing detailed interactions between the NTD and 4A8. Our functional and structural characterizations discover a new vulnerable epitope of the S protein and identify promising neutralizing mAbs as potential clinical therapy for COVID-19.