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2.
Nature ; 614(7948): 521-529, 2023 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2239514

ABSTRACT

Continuous evolution of Omicron has led to a rapid and simultaneous emergence of numerous variants that display growth advantages over BA.5 (ref. 1). Despite their divergent evolutionary courses, mutations on their receptor-binding domain (RBD) converge on several hotspots. The driving force and destination of such sudden convergent evolution and its effect on humoral immunity remain unclear. Here we demonstrate that these convergent mutations can cause evasion of neutralizing antibody drugs and convalescent plasma, including those from BA.5 breakthrough infection, while maintaining sufficient ACE2-binding capability. BQ.1.1.10 (BQ.1.1 + Y144del), BA.4.6.3, XBB and CH.1.1 are the most antibody-evasive strains tested. To delineate the origin of the convergent evolution, we determined the escape mutation profiles and neutralization activity of monoclonal antibodies isolated from individuals who had BA.2 and BA.5 breakthrough infections2,3. Owing to humoral immune imprinting, BA.2 and especially BA.5 breakthrough infection reduced the diversity of the neutralizing antibody binding sites and increased proportions of non-neutralizing antibody clones, which, in turn, focused humoral immune pressure and promoted convergent evolution in the RBD. Moreover, we show that the convergent RBD mutations could be accurately inferred by deep mutational scanning profiles4,5, and the evolution trends of BA.2.75 and BA.5 subvariants could be well foreseen through constructed convergent pseudovirus mutants. These results suggest that current herd immunity and BA.5 vaccine boosters may not efficiently prevent the infection of Omicron convergent variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral , Antigenic Drift and Shift , COVID-19 , Evolution, Molecular , Immunity, Humoral , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Humans , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Breakthrough Infections/immunology , Breakthrough Infections/virology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Serotherapy , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Protein Domains/genetics , Protein Domains/immunology , Antigenic Drift and Shift/immunology , Mutation
3.
Cell Rep ; 41(12): 111845, 2022 12 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2130308

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron sublineages have escaped most receptor-binding domain (RBD)-targeting therapeutic neutralizing antibodies (NAbs), which proves that previous NAb drug screening strategies are deficient against the fast-evolving SARS-CoV-2. Better broad NAb drug candidate selection methods are needed. Here, we describe a rational approach for identifying RBD-targeting broad SARS-CoV-2 NAb cocktails. Based on high-throughput epitope determination, we propose that broad NAb drugs should target non-immunodominant RBD epitopes to avoid herd-immunity-directed escape mutations. Also, their interacting antigen residues should focus on sarbecovirus conserved sites and associate with critical viral functions, making the antibody-escaping mutations less likely to appear. Following these criteria, a featured non-competing antibody cocktail, SA55+SA58, is identified from a large collection of broad sarbecovirus NAbs isolated from SARS-CoV-2-vaccinated SARS convalescents. SA55+SA58 potently neutralizes ACE2-utilizing sarbecoviruses, including circulating Omicron variants, and could serve as broad SARS-CoV-2 prophylactics to offer long-term protection, especially for individuals who are immunocompromised or with high-risk comorbidities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies , Combined Antibody Therapeutics , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Epitopes , Antibodies, Viral
5.
Cell Host Microbe ; 30(11): 1527-1539.e5, 2022 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2104544

ABSTRACT

Recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 Omicron subvariant, BA.2.75, displayed a growth advantage over circulating BA.2.38, BA.2.76, and BA.5 in India. However, the underlying mechanisms for enhanced infectivity, especially compared with BA.5, remain unclear. Here, we show that BA.2.75 exhibits substantially higher affinity for host receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) than BA.5 and other variants. Structural analyses of BA.2.75 spike shows its decreased thermostability and increased frequency of the receptor binding domain (RBD) in the "up" conformation under acidic conditions, suggesting enhanced low-pH-endosomal cell entry. Relative to BA.4/BA.5, BA.2.75 exhibits reduced evasion of humoral immunity from BA.1/BA.2 breakthrough-infection convalescent plasma but greater evasion of Delta breakthrough-infection convalescent plasma. BA.5 breakthrough-infection plasma also exhibits weaker neutralization against BA.2.75 than BA.5, mainly due to BA.2.75's distinct neutralizing antibody (NAb) escape pattern. Antibody therapeutics Evusheld and Bebtelovimab remain effective against BA.2.75. These results suggest BA.2.75 may prevail after BA.4/BA.5, and its increased receptor-binding capability could support further immune-evasive mutations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Humans , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Serotherapy
7.
Cell host & microbe ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2045135

ABSTRACT

Recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 Omicron subvariant, BA.2.75, displayed a growth advantage over circulating BA.2.38, BA.2.76 and BA.5 in India. However, the underlying mechanisms for enhanced infectivity, especially compared to BA.5, remain unclear. Here we show BA.2.75 exhibits substantially higher affinity for host receptor ACE2 than BA.5 and other variants. Structural analyses of BA.2.75 Spike shows its decreased thermostability and increased frequency of the receptor binding domain (RBD) in the “up” conformation under acidic conditions, suggesting enhanced low-pH-endosomal cell entry. Relative to BA.4/BA.5, BA.2.75 exhibits reduced evasion of humoral immunity from BA.1/BA.2 breakthrough-infection convalescent plasma, but greater evasion of Delta breakthrough-infection convalescent plasma. BA.5 breakthrough infection plasma also exhibits weaker neutralization against BA.2.75 than BA.5, mainly due to BA.2.75’s distinct neutralizing antibody escape pattern. Antibody therapeutics Evusheld and Bebtelovimab remain effective against BA.2.75. These results suggest BA.2.75 may prevail after BA.4/BA.5, and its increased receptor-binding capability could support further immune-evasive mutations. Graphical SARS-CoV-2 BA.2.75 is growing rapidly and globally. Cao et al. solved the structure of BA.2.75 spike and show it has stronger binding to human ACE2 than previous variants. BA.2.75 also exhibited distinct antigenicity compared to BA.5, escaping neutralizing antibodies targeting various epitopes and evading convalescent plasma from BA.5 breakthrough infections.

8.
Nature ; 608(7923): 593-602, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1900499

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron sublineages BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 exhibit higher transmissibility than the BA.2 lineage1. The receptor binding and immune-evasion capability of these recently emerged variants require immediate investigation. Here, coupled with structural comparisons of the spike proteins, we show that BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 (BA.4 and BA.5 are hereafter referred collectively to as BA.4/BA.5) exhibit similar binding affinities to BA.2 for the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. Of note, BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5 display increased evasion of neutralizing antibodies compared with BA.2 against plasma from triple-vaccinated individuals or from individuals who developed a BA.1 infection after vaccination. To delineate the underlying antibody-evasion mechanism, we determined the escape mutation profiles2, epitope distribution3 and Omicron-neutralization efficiency of 1,640 neutralizing antibodies directed against the receptor-binding domain of the viral spike protein, including 614 antibodies isolated from people who had recovered from BA.1 infection. BA.1 infection after vaccination predominantly recalls humoral immune memory directed against ancestral (hereafter referred to as wild-type (WT)) SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The resulting elicited antibodies could neutralize both WT SARS-CoV-2 and BA.1 and are enriched on epitopes on spike that do not bind ACE2. However, most of these cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies are evaded by spike mutants L452Q, L452R and F486V. BA.1 infection can also induce new clones of BA.1-specific antibodies that potently neutralize BA.1. Nevertheless, these neutralizing antibodies are largely evaded by BA.2 and BA.4/BA.5 owing to D405N and F486V mutations, and react weakly to pre-Omicron variants, exhibiting narrow neutralization breadths. The therapeutic neutralizing antibodies bebtelovimab4 and cilgavimab5 can effectively neutralize BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5, whereas the S371F, D405N and R408S mutations undermine most broadly sarbecovirus-neutralizing antibodies. Together, our results indicate that Omicron may evolve mutations to evade the humoral immunity elicited by BA.1 infection, suggesting that BA.1-derived vaccine boosters may not achieve broad-spectrum protection against new Omicron variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral , Antigenic Drift and Shift , COVID-19 , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte , Immune Tolerance , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigenic Drift and Shift/genetics , Antigenic Drift and Shift/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/genetics , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Immunization, Secondary , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
9.
Cell ; 185(10): 1728-1744.e16, 2022 05 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1767964

ABSTRACT

As the emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2 continue to drive the worldwide pandemic, there is a constant demand for vaccines that offer more effective and broad-spectrum protection. Here, we report a circular RNA (circRNA) vaccine that elicited potent neutralizing antibodies and T cell responses by expressing the trimeric RBD of the spike protein, providing robust protection against SARS-CoV-2 in both mice and rhesus macaques. Notably, the circRNA vaccine enabled higher and more durable antigen production than the 1mΨ-modified mRNA vaccine and elicited a higher proportion of neutralizing antibodies and distinct Th1-skewed immune responses. Importantly, we found that the circRNARBD-Omicron vaccine induced effective neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron but not the Delta variant. In contrast, the circRNARBD-Delta vaccine protected against both Delta and Omicron or functioned as a booster after two doses of either native- or Delta-specific vaccination, making it a favorable choice against the current variants of concern (VOCs) of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Macaca mulatta , Mice , RNA, Circular/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , mRNA Vaccines
10.
Nature ; 602(7898): 657-663, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616990

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant contains 15 mutations of the receptor-binding domain (RBD). How Omicron evades RBD-targeted neutralizing antibodies requires immediate investigation. Here we use high-throughput yeast display screening1,2 to determine the profiles of RBD escaping mutations for 247 human anti-RBD neutralizing antibodies and show that the neutralizing antibodies can be classified by unsupervised clustering into six epitope groups (A-F)-a grouping that is highly concordant with knowledge-based structural classifications3-5. Various single mutations of Omicron can impair neutralizing antibodies of different epitope groups. Specifically, neutralizing antibodies in groups A-D, the epitopes of which overlap with the ACE2-binding motif, are largely escaped by K417N, G446S, E484A and Q493R. Antibodies in group E (for example, S309)6 and group F (for example, CR3022)7, which often exhibit broad sarbecovirus neutralizing activity, are less affected by Omicron, but a subset of neutralizing antibodies are still escaped by G339D, N440K and S371L. Furthermore, Omicron pseudovirus neutralization showed that neutralizing antibodies that sustained single mutations could also be escaped, owing to multiple synergetic mutations on their epitopes. In total, over 85% of the tested neutralizing antibodies were escaped by Omicron. With regard to neutralizing-antibody-based drugs, the neutralization potency of LY-CoV016, LY-CoV555, REGN10933, REGN10987, AZD1061, AZD8895 and BRII-196 was greatly undermined by Omicron, whereas VIR-7831 and DXP-604 still functioned at a reduced efficacy. Together, our data suggest that infection with Omicron would result in considerable humoral immune evasion, and that neutralizing antibodies targeting the sarbecovirus conserved region will remain most effective. Our results inform the development of antibody-based drugs and vaccines against Omicron and future variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Immune Evasion/immunology , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/classification , Antibodies, Viral/classification , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cells, Cultured , Convalescence , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Immune Sera/immunology , Models, Molecular , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
12.
Cell Res ; 31(7): 732-741, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1237995

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 variants could induce immune escape by mutations on the receptor-binding domain (RBD) and N-terminal domain (NTD). Here we report the humoral immune response to circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants, such as 501Y.V2 (B.1.351), of the plasma and neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) elicited by CoronaVac (inactivated vaccine), ZF2001 (RBD-subunit vaccine) and natural infection. Among 86 potent NAbs identified by high-throughput single-cell VDJ sequencing of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from vaccinees and convalescents, near half anti-RBD NAbs showed major neutralization reductions against the K417N/E484K/N501Y mutation combination, with E484K being the dominant cause. VH3-53/VH3-66 recurrent antibodies respond differently to RBD variants, and K417N compromises the majority of neutralizing activity through reduced polar contacts with complementarity determining regions. In contrast, the 242-244 deletion (242-244Δ) would abolish most neutralization activity of anti-NTD NAbs by interrupting the conformation of NTD antigenic supersite, indicating a much less diversity of anti-NTD NAbs than anti-RBD NAbs. Plasma of convalescents and CoronaVac vaccinees displayed comparable neutralization reductions against pseudo- and authentic 501Y.V2 variants, mainly caused by E484K/N501Y and 242-244Δ, with the effects being additive. Importantly, RBD-subunit vaccinees exhibit markedly higher tolerance to 501Y.V2 than convalescents, since the elicited anti-RBD NAbs display a high diversity and are unaffected by NTD mutations. Moreover, an extended gap between the third and second doses of ZF2001 leads to better neutralizing activity and tolerance to 501Y.V2 than the standard three-dose administration. Together, these results suggest that the deployment of RBD-vaccines, through a third-dose boost, may be ideal for combating SARS-CoV-2 variants when necessary, especially for those carrying mutations that disrupt the NTD supersite.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunity, Humoral , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Inactivated/pharmacology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cell Line , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Models, Molecular , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, Inactivated/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/pharmacology
13.
Cell ; 183(4): 1013-1023.e13, 2020 11 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-756810

ABSTRACT

Understanding how potent neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) inhibit SARS-CoV-2 is critical for effective therapeutic development. We previously described BD-368-2, a SARS-CoV-2 NAb with high potency; however, its neutralization mechanism is largely unknown. Here, we report the 3.5-Å cryo-EM structure of BD-368-2/trimeric-spike complex, revealing that BD-368-2 fully blocks ACE2 recognition by occupying all three receptor-binding domains (RBDs) simultaneously, regardless of their "up" or "down" conformations. Also, BD-368-2 treats infected adult hamsters at low dosages and at various administering windows, in contrast to placebo hamsters that manifested severe interstitial pneumonia. Moreover, BD-368-2's epitope completely avoids the common binding site of VH3-53/VH3-66 recurrent NAbs, evidenced by tripartite co-crystal structures with RBDs. Pairing BD-368-2 with a potent recurrent NAb neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus at pM level and rescues mutation-induced neutralization escapes. Together, our results rationalized a new RBD epitope that leads to high neutralization potency and demonstrated BD-368-2's therapeutic potential in treating COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , Antigen-Antibody Reactions , Binding Sites , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cricetinae , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Disease Models, Animal , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/immunology , Female , Lung/pathology , Male , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Structure, Quaternary , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
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