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2.
Antiviral Res ; 205: 105381, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1982553

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has raised the alarm to search for effective therapy for this virus. To date several vaccines have been approved but few available drugs reported recently still need approval from FDA. Remdesivir was approved for emergency use only. In this report, the SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro was expressed and purified. By using a FRET-based enzymatic assay, we have screened a library consisting of more than 300 different niclosamide derivatives and identified three molecules JMX0286, JMX0301, and JMX0941 as potent allosteric inhibitors against SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro, with IC50 values similar to that of known covalent inhibitor boceprevir. In a cell-based antiviral assay, these inhibitors can inhibit the virus growth with EC50 in the range of 2-3 µM. The mechanism of action of JMX0286, JMX0301, and JMX0941 were characterized by enzyme kinetics, affinity binding and protein-based substrate digestion. Molecular docking, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and hydration studies suggested that JMX0286, JMX0301, JMX0941 bind specifically to an allosteric pocket of the SARS-CoV-2 3CL protease. This study provides three potent compounds for further studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Peptide Hydrolases/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins
4.
mBio ; : e0199622, 2022 Aug 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1973798

ABSTRACT

The continuous emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants with increased transmission and immune evasion has caused breakthrough infections in the vaccinated population. It is important to determine the threshold of neutralizing antibody titers (NT50) that permit breakthrough infections in humans. Here, we tested the neutralization titers of vaccinated patients who contracted Delta variant. All 64 patients with Delta breakthrough infections exhibited NT50 of less than 70. When the breakthrough sera were tested against USA-WA1/2020 (a strain isolated in late January 2020), 82.8%, 15.6%, and 1.6% of them had the NT50 ranges of <20, 20 to 50, and 50 to 69, respectively. When the same breakthrough sera were tested against Delta-spike SARS-CoV-2, 68.7%, 26.6%, and 4.7% of them had the NT50 ranges of <20, 20 to 50, and 50 to 69, respectively. Overall, the results suggest NT50 of 70 as a potential neutralizing threshold required to prevent Delta breakthrough infections. These clinical laboratory results have implications in vaccine strategy and public health policy. IMPORTANCE Given that neutralizing antibodies play a key role in protection of SARS-CoV-2 infection, it is important to define the neutralization levels in vaccinated individuals when they contracted breakthrough infections. In this study, we analyzed the neutralization levels from 64 vaccinated patients on days 0 to 5 before they tested positive for Delta breakthrough infections. The neutralization titers in these vaccinated individuals were all lower than 70 when they contracted breakthrough infections. The results suggest a neutralization titer of 70 as the potential threshold required to prevent breakthrough infections of Delta variant.

5.
Sci Immunol ; : eabp9962, 2022 Aug 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1973781

ABSTRACT

The rapid evolution of SARS-CoV-2 viruses, such as the Omicron variants which are highly transmissible and immune evasive, underscores the need to develop therapeutic antibodies with broad neutralizing activities. Here, we used the LIBRA-seq technology, which identified SARS-CoV-2 specific B cells via DNA-barcoding and subsequently single cell sequenced BCRs, to identify an antibody, SW186, which could neutralize major SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, including Beta, Delta, and Omicron, as well as SARS-CoV-1. The cryo-EM structure of SW186 bound to the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the viral spike protein showed that SW186 interacted with an epitope of the RBD that is not at the interface of its binding to the ACE2 receptor but highly conserved among SARS coronaviruses. This epitope encompasses a glycosylation site (N343) of the viral spike protein. Administration of SW186 in mice after they were infected with SARS-CoV-2 Alpha, Beta, or Delta variants reduced the viral loads in the lung. These results demonstrated that SW186 neutralizes diverse SARS coronaviruses by binding to a conserved RBD epitope, which could serve as a target for further antibody development.

6.
NPJ Vaccines ; 7(1): 85, 2022 Jul 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1967606

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of the COVID-19 global pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 is an enveloped RNA virus that relies on its trimeric surface glycoprotein spike for entry into host cells. Here we describe the COVID-19 vaccine candidate MV-014-212, a live, attenuated, recombinant human respiratory syncytial virus expressing a chimeric SARS-CoV-2 spike as the only viral envelope protein. MV-014-212 was attenuated and immunogenic in African green monkeys (AGMs). One mucosal administration of MV-014-212 in AGMs protected against SARS-CoV-2 challenge, reducing by more than 200-fold the peak shedding of SARS-CoV-2 in the nose. MV-014-212 elicited mucosal immunoglobulin A in the nose and neutralizing antibodies in serum that exhibited cross-neutralization against virus variants of concern Alpha, Beta, and Delta. Intranasally delivered, live attenuated vaccines such as MV-014-212 entail low-cost manufacturing suitable for global deployment. MV-014-212 is currently in Phase 1 clinical trials as an intranasal COVID-19 vaccine.

7.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 1828-1832, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1960866

ABSTRACT

Distinct SARS-CoV-2 Omicron sublineages have evolved showing increased fitness and immune evasion than the original Omicron variant BA.1. Here, we report the neutralization activity of sera from BNT162b2 vaccinated individuals or unimmunized Omicron BA.1-infected individuals against Omicron sublineages and "Deltacron" variant (XD). BNT162b2 post-dose 3 immune sera neutralized USA-WA1/2020, Omicron BA.1-, BA.2-, BA.2.12.1-, BA.3-, BA.4/5-, and XD-spike SARS-CoV-2s with geometric mean titres (GMTs) of 1335, 393, 298, 315, 216, 103, and 301, respectively; thus, BA.4/5 SARS-CoV-2 spike variant showed the highest propensity to evade vaccine neutralization compared to the original Omicron variants BA.1. BA.1-convalescent sera neutralized USA-WA1/2020, BA.1-, BA.2-, BA.2.12.1-, BA.3-, BA.4/5-, and Deltacron-spike SARS-CoV-2s with GMTs of 15, 430, 110, 109, 102, 25, and 284, respectively. The unique mutation F486V in the BA.4/5 spike contributes to the increased evasion of antibody neutralization by sublineage BA.4/5. The low neutralization titres of vaccinated sera or convalescent sera from BA.1 infected individuals against the emerging and rapidly spreading Omicron BA.4/5 variants provide important results for consideration in the selection of an updated vaccine in the current Omicron wave.Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov; identifier: NCT04368728.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Membrane Glycoproteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins
8.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 4337, 2022 07 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1960370

ABSTRACT

We report a live-attenuated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate with (i) re-engineered viral transcription regulator sequences and (ii) deleted open-reading-frames (ORF) 3, 6, 7, and 8 (∆3678). The ∆3678 virus replicates about 7,500-fold lower than wild-type SARS-CoV-2 on primary human airway cultures, but restores its replication on interferon-deficient Vero-E6 cells that are approved for vaccine production. The ∆3678 virus is highly attenuated in both hamster and K18-hACE2 mouse models. A single-dose immunization of the ∆3678 virus protects hamsters from wild-type virus challenge and transmission. Among the deleted ORFs in the ∆3678 virus, ORF3a accounts for the most attenuation through antagonizing STAT1 phosphorylation during type-I interferon signaling. We also developed an mNeonGreen reporter ∆3678 virus for high-throughput neutralization and antiviral testing. Altogether, the results suggest that ∆3678 SARS-CoV-2 may serve as a live-attenuated vaccine candidate and a research tool for potential biosafety level-2 use.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Animals , Antiviral Agents , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cricetinae , Humans , Interferons , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccines, Attenuated , Virus Replication
9.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 4350, 2022 07 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1960369

ABSTRACT

The evolution of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in the emergence of new variant lineages that have exacerbated the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of those variants were designated as variants of concern/interest (VOC/VOI) by national or international authorities based on many factors including their potential impact on vaccine-mediated protection from disease. To ascertain and rank the risk of VOCs and VOIs, we analyze the ability of 14 variants (614G, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta, Eta, Theta, Iota, Kappa, Lambda, Mu, and Omicron) to escape from mRNA vaccine-induced antibodies. The variants show differential reductions in neutralization and replication by post-vaccination sera. Although the Omicron variant (BA.1, BA.1.1, and BA.2) shows the most escape from neutralization, sera collected after a third dose of vaccine (booster sera) retain moderate neutralizing activity against that variant. Therefore, vaccination remains an effective strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
10.
Transl Res ; 2022 Jun 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1937268

ABSTRACT

Development of optimal SARS-CoV-2 vaccines to induce potent, long-lasting immunity and provide cross-reactive protection against emerging variants remains a high priority. Here, we report that a modified porous silicon microparticle (mPSM) adjuvant to SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) vaccine activated dendritic cells and generated more potent and durable systemic humoral and type 1 helper T (Th) cell- mediated immune responses than alum-formulated RBD following parenteral vaccination, and protected mice from SARS-CoV-2 and Beta variant challenge. Notably, mPSM facilitated the uptake of SARS-CoV-2 RBD antigens by nasal and airway epithelial cells. Parenteral and intranasal prime and boost vaccinations with mPSM-RBD elicited stronger lung resident T and B cells and IgA responses compared to parenteral vaccination alone, which led to markedly diminished viral loads and inflammation in the lung following SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant challenge. Overall, our results suggest that mPSM is effective adjuvant for SARS-CoV-2 subunit vaccine in both systemic and mucosal vaccinations.

11.
PLoS Pathog ; 18(6): e1010627, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1902650

ABSTRACT

While SARS-CoV-2 continues to adapt for human infection and transmission, genetic variation outside of the spike gene remains largely unexplored. This study investigates a highly variable region at residues 203-205 in the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein. Recreating a mutation found in the alpha and omicron variants in an early pandemic (WA-1) background, we find that the R203K+G204R mutation is sufficient to enhance replication, fitness, and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2. The R203K+G204R mutant corresponds with increased viral RNA and protein both in vitro and in vivo. Importantly, the R203K+G204R mutation increases nucleocapsid phosphorylation and confers resistance to inhibition of the GSK-3 kinase, providing a molecular basis for increased virus replication. Notably, analogous alanine substitutions at positions 203+204 also increase SARS-CoV-2 replication and augment phosphorylation, suggesting that infection is enhanced through ablation of the ancestral 'RG' motif. Overall, these results demonstrate that variant mutations outside spike are key components in SARS-CoV-2's continued adaptation to human infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/genetics , Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 , Humans , Mutation , Nucleocapsid , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
12.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 3602, 2022 06 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1900485

ABSTRACT

The newly emerged Omicron SARS-CoV-2 has several distinct sublineages including BA.1, BA.2, and BA.3. BA.1 accounts for the initial surge and is being replaced by BA.2, whereas BA.3 is at a low prevalence at this time. Here we report the neutralization of BNT162b2-vaccinated sera (collected 1 month after dose 3) against the three Omicron sublineages. To facilitate the neutralization testing, we have engineered the complete BA.1, BA.2, or BA.3 spike into an mNeonGreen USA-WA1/2020 SRAS-CoV-2. All BNT162b2-vaccinated sera neutralize USA-WA1/2020, BA.1-, BA.2-, and BA.3-spike SARS-CoV-2s with titers of >20; the neutralization geometric mean titers (GMTs) against the four viruses are 1211, 336, 300, and 190, respectively. Thus, the BA.1-, BA.2-, and BA.3-spike SARS-CoV-2s are 3.6-, 4.0-, and 6.4-fold less efficiently neutralized than the USA-WA1/2020, respectively. Our data have implications in vaccine strategy and understanding the biology of Omicron sublineages.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Viruses ; 14(6)2022 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1896924

ABSTRACT

A robust serological test to measure neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in biosafety level-2 (BSL-2) laboratories is useful for monitoring antibody response after vaccination or natural infection. The gold standard assay is the conventional plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) which requires extensive labor, live viruses, and BSL-3 facilities. Recently, we developed a novel single-round infection fluorescent SARS-CoV-2 virus (SFV) that can be safely used at BSL-2 laboratories for high-throughput neutralization and antiviral testing. In this study, we evaluated the performance of the neutralization test using this SFV with 80 PRNT-positive and 92 PRNT-negative clinical serum or plasma specimens. The SFV neutralization test (SFVNT) has 100% sensitivity and specificity compared to the PRNT. Furthermore, the neutralizing titers generated by the SFVNT and PRNT are highly correlated, with R2 = 0.903 (p < 0.0001). Due to high sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and reproducibility, the SFVNT can be deployed for the large-scale testing of COVID-19 patients or vaccinated people in general lab settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Containment of Biohazards , Humans , Laboratories , Neutralization Tests , Reproducibility of Results
14.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-338339

ABSTRACT

Distinct SARS-CoV-2 Omicron sublineages have evolved showing increased fitness and immune evasion than the original Omicron variant BA.1. Here we report the neutralization activity of sera from BNT162b2 vaccinated individuals or unimmunized Omicron BA.1-infected individuals against Omicron sublineages and “Deltacron” variant (XD). BNT162b2 post-dose 3 immune sera neutralized USA-WA1/2020, Omicron BA.1-, BA.2-, BA.2.12.1-, BA.3-, BA.4/5-, and XD-spike SARS-CoV-2s with geometric mean titers (GMTs) of 1335, 393, 298, 315, 216, 103, and 301, respectively;thus, BA.4/5 SARS-CoV-2 spike variant showed the highest propensity to evade vaccine neutralization compared to the original Omicron variants BA.1. BA.1-convalescent sera neutralized USA-WA1/2020, BA.1-, BA.2-, BA.2.12.1-, BA.3-, BA.4/5-, and Deltacron-spike SARS-CoV-2s with GMTs of 15, 430, 110, 109, 102, 25, and 284, respectively. The low neutralization titers of vaccinated sera or convalescent sera from BA. 1 infected individuals against the emerging and rapidly spreading Omicron BA.4/5 variants provide important results for consideration in the selection of an updated vaccine in the current Omicron wave.

15.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2956, 2022 05 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1864738

ABSTRACT

The Omicron SARS-CoV-2 has several distinct sublineages, among which sublineage BA.1 is responsible for the initial Omicron surge and is now being replaced by BA.2 worldwide, whereas BA.3 is currently at a low frequency. The ongoing BA.1-to-BA.2 replacement underscores the importance to understand the cross-neutralization among the three Omicron sublineages. Here we test the neutralization of BA.1-infected human sera against BA.2, BA.3, and USA/WA1-2020 (a strain isolated in late January 2020). The BA.1-infected sera neutralize BA.1, BA.2, BA.3, and USA/WA1-2020 SARS-CoV-2s with geometric mean titers (GMTs) of 445, 107, 102, and 16, respectively. Thus, the neutralizing GMTs against heterologous BA.2, BA.3, and USA/WA1-2020 are 4.2-, 4.4-, and 28.4-fold lower than the GMT against homologous BA.1, respectively. These findings have implications in COVID-19 vaccine strategy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Neutralization Tests
16.
Antimicrob Agents Chemother ; 66(6): e0022222, 2022 06 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1832332

ABSTRACT

Genetic variation of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in the emergence and rapid spread of multiple variants throughout the pandemic, of which Omicron is currently the predominant variant circulating worldwide. SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern/variants of interest (VOC/VOI) have evidence of increased viral transmission, disease severity, or decreased effectiveness of vaccines and neutralizing antibodies. Remdesivir (RDV [VEKLURY]) is a nucleoside analog prodrug and the first FDA-approved antiviral treatment of COVID-19. Here, we present a comprehensive antiviral activity assessment of RDV and its parent nucleoside, GS-441524, against 10 current and former SARS-CoV-2 VOC/VOI clinical isolates by nucleoprotein enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and plaque reduction assay. Delta and Omicron variants remained susceptible to RDV and GS-441524, with 50% effective concentration (EC50) values 0.30- to 0.62-fold of those observed against the ancestral WA1 isolate. All other tested variants exhibited EC50 values ranging from 0.13- to 2.3-fold of the observed EC50 values against WA1. Analysis of nearly 6 million publicly available variant isolate sequences confirmed that Nsp12, the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) target of RDV and GS-441524, is highly conserved across variants, with only 2 prevalent changes (P323L and G671S). Using recombinant viruses, both RDV and GS-441524 retained potency against all viruses containing frequent variant substitutions or their combination. Taken together, these results highlight the conserved nature of SARS-CoV-2 Nsp12 and provide evidence of sustained SARS-CoV-2 antiviral activity of RDV and GS-441524 across the tested variants. The observed pan-variant activity of RDV supports its continued use for the treatment of COVID-19 regardless of the SARS-CoV-2 variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adenosine/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
17.
Antiviral Res ; 203: 105329, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1819427

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic, has infected over 260 million people over the past 2 years. Remdesivir (RDV, VEKLURY®) is currently the only antiviral therapy fully approved by the FDA for the treatment of COVID-19. The parent nucleoside of RDV, GS-441524, exhibits antiviral activity against numerous respiratory viruses including SARS-CoV-2, although at reduced in vitro potency compared to RDV in most assays. Here we find in both human alveolar and bronchial primary cells, GS-441524 is metabolized to the pharmacologically active GS-441524 triphosphate (TP) less efficiently than RDV, which correlates with a lower in vitro SARS-CoV-2 antiviral activity. In vivo, African green monkeys (AGM) orally dosed with GS-441524 yielded low plasma levels due to limited oral bioavailability of <10%. When GS-441524 was delivered via intravenous (IV) administration, although plasma concentrations of GS-441524 were significantly higher, lung TP levels were lower than observed from IV RDV. To determine the required systemic exposure of GS-441524 associated with in vivo antiviral efficacy, SARS-CoV-2 infected AGMs were treated with a once-daily IV dose of either 7.5 or 20 mg/kg GS-441524 or IV RDV for 5 days and compared to vehicle control. Despite the reduced lung TP formation compared to IV dosing of RDV, daily treatment with IV GS-441524 resulted in dose-dependent efficacy, with the 20 mg/kg GS-441524 treatment resulting in significant reductions of SARS-CoV-2 replication in the lower respiratory tract of infected animals. These findings demonstrate the in vivo SARS-CoV-2 antiviral efficacy of GS-441524 and support evaluation of its orally bioavailable prodrugs as potential therapies for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adenosine/analogs & derivatives , Animals , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Cell Rep ; 39(7): 110829, 2022 05 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1814236

ABSTRACT

We report that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Delta spike mutation P681R plays a key role in the Alpha-to-Delta variant replacement during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Delta SARS-CoV-2 efficiently outcompetes the Alpha variant in human lung epithelial cells and primary human airway tissues. The Delta spike mutation P681R is located at a furin cleavage site that separates the spike 1 (S1) and S2 subunits. Reverting the P681R mutation to wild-type P681 significantly reduces the replication of the Delta variant to a level lower than the Alpha variant. Mechanistically, the Delta P681R mutation enhances the cleavage of the full-length spike to S1 and S2, which could improve cell-surface-mediated virus entry. In contrast, the Alpha spike also has a mutation at the same amino acid (P681H), but the cleavage of the Alpha spike is reduced compared with the Delta spike. Our results suggest P681R as a key mutation in enhancing Delta-variant replication via increased S1/S2 cleavage.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/genetics , Humans , Mutation/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
19.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-334196

ABSTRACT

Summary The worldwide spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has led to the repeated emergence of variants of concern. The Omicron variant has two dominant sub-lineages, BA.1 and BA.2, each with unprecedented numbers of nonsynonymous and indel spike protein mutations: 33 and 29, respectively. Some of these mutations individually increase transmissibility and enhance immune evasion, but their interactions within the Omicron mutational background is unknown. We characterize the molecular effects of all Omicron spike mutations on expression, human ACE2 receptor affinity, and neutralizing antibody recognition. We show that key mutations enable escape from neutralizing antibodies at a variety of epitopes. Stabilizing mutations in the N-terminal and S2 domains of the spike protein compensate for destabilizing mutations in the receptor binding domain, thereby enabling the record number of mutations in Omicron sub-lineages. Taken together, our results provide a comprehensive account of the mutational effects in the Omicron spike protein and illuminate previously unknown mechanisms of how the N-terminal domain can compensate for destabilizing mutations within the more evolutionarily constrained RBD.

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