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1.
Glycobiology ; 32(1): 60-72, 2022 02 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501077

ABSTRACT

Extensive glycosylation of the spike protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 virus not only shields the major part of it from host immune responses, but glycans at specific sites also act on its conformation dynamics and contribute to efficient host receptor binding, and hence infectivity. As variants of concern arise during the course of the coronavirus disease of 2019 pandemic, it is unclear if mutations accumulated within the spike protein would affect its site-specific glycosylation pattern. The Alpha variant derived from the D614G lineage is distinguished from others by having deletion mutations located right within an immunogenic supersite of the spike N-terminal domain (NTD) that make it refractory to most neutralizing antibodies directed against this domain. Despite maintaining an overall similar structural conformation, our mass spectrometry-based site-specific glycosylation analyses of similarly produced spike proteins with and without the D614G and Alpha variant mutations reveal a significant shift in the processing state of N-glycans on one specific NTD site. Its conversion to a higher proportion of complex type structures is indicative of altered spatial accessibility attributable to mutations specific to the Alpha variant that may impact its transmissibility. This and other more subtle changes in glycosylation features detected at other sites provide crucial missing information otherwise not apparent in the available cryogenic electron microscopy-derived structures of the spike protein variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Glycopeptides/chemistry , Mutation , Polysaccharides/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Carbohydrate Sequence , Datasets as Topic , Glycopeptides/genetics , Glycopeptides/metabolism , Glycosylation , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mass Spectrometry , Peptide Mapping , Polysaccharides/metabolism , Protein Binding , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
2.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(10): e1009704, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1484866

ABSTRACT

Development of effective therapeutics for mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic is a pressing global need. Neutralizing antibodies are known to be effective antivirals, as they can be rapidly deployed to prevent disease progression and can accelerate patient recovery without the need for fully developed host immunity. Here, we report the generation and characterization of a series of chimeric antibodies against the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein. Some of these antibodies exhibit exceptionally potent neutralization activities in vitro and in vivo, and the most potent of our antibodies target three distinct non-overlapping epitopes within the RBD. Cryo-electron microscopy analyses of two highly potent antibodies in complex with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein suggested they may be particularly useful when combined in a cocktail therapy. The efficacy of this antibody cocktail was confirmed in SARS-CoV-2-infected mouse and hamster models as prophylactic and post-infection treatments. With the emergence of more contagious variants of SARS-CoV-2, cocktail antibody therapies hold great promise to control disease and prevent drug resistance.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/pharmacology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Male , Mice
3.
J Biol Chem ; 297(4): 101238, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433455

ABSTRACT

The D614G mutation in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 alters the fitness of the virus, leading to the dominant form observed in the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the molecular basis of the mechanism by which this mutation enhances fitness is not clear. Here we demonstrated by cryo-electron microscopy that the D614G mutation resulted in increased propensity of multiple receptor-binding domains (RBDs) in an upward conformation poised for host receptor binding. Multiple substates within the one RBD-up or two RBD-up conformational space were determined. According to negative staining electron microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, and differential scanning fluorimetry, the most significant impact of the mutation lies in its ability to eliminate the unusual cold-induced unfolding characteristics and to significantly increase the thermal stability under physiological pH. The D614G spike variant also exhibited exceptional long-term stability when stored at 37 °C for up to 2 months. Our findings shed light on how the D614G mutation enhances the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 through a stabilizing mutation and suggest an approach for better design of spike protein-based conjugates for vaccine development.


Subject(s)
SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Calorimetry, Differential Scanning , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Humans , Mutagenesis, Site-Directed , Protein Domains , Protein Stability , Protein Structure, Quaternary , Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Temperature
4.
Nat Struct Mol Biol ; 28(9): 731-739, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1356577

ABSTRACT

The B.1.1.7 variant of SARS-CoV-2 first detected in the UK harbors amino-acid substitutions and deletions in the spike protein that potentially enhance host angiotensin conversion enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor binding and viral immune evasion. Here we report cryo-EM structures of the spike protein of B.1.1.7 in the apo and ACE2-bound forms. The apo form showed one or two receptor-binding domains (RBDs) in the open conformation, without populating the fully closed state. All three RBDs were engaged in ACE2 binding. The B.1.1.7-specific A570D mutation introduces a molecular switch that could modulate the opening and closing of the RBD. The N501Y mutation introduces a π-π interaction that enhances RBD binding to ACE2 and abolishes binding of a potent neutralizing antibody (nAb). Cryo-EM also revealed how a cocktail of two nAbs simultaneously bind to all three RBDs, and demonstrated the potency of the nAb cocktail to neutralize different SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus strains, including B.1.1.7.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Humans , Models, Molecular , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
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