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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(34): e2204256119, 2022 08 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1991767


Antibody therapeutics for the treatment of COVID-19 have been highly successful. However, the recent emergence of the Omicron variant has posed a challenge, as it evades detection by most existing SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies (nAbs). Here, we successfully generated a panel of SARS-CoV-2/SARS-CoV cross-neutralizing antibodies by sequential immunization of the two pseudoviruses. Of the potential candidates, we found that nAbs X01, X10, and X17 offer broad neutralizing potential against most variants of concern, with X17 further identified as a Class 5 nAb with undiminished neutralization against the Omicron variant. Cryo-electron microscopy structures of the three antibodies together in complex with each of the spike proteins of the prototypical SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2, and Delta and Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2 defined three nonoverlapping conserved epitopes on the receptor-binding domain. The triple-antibody mixture exhibited enhanced resistance to viral evasion and effective protection against infection of the Beta variant in hamsters. Our findings will aid the development of antibody therapeutics and broad vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and its emerging variants.

Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Epitopes , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Conserved Sequence , Cricetinae , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Mice , Neutralization Tests , Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
Sci Transl Med ; 13(606)2021 08 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1319371


Multiple safe and effective vaccines that elicit immune responses against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are necessary to respond to the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Here, we developed a protein subunit vaccine composed of spike ectodomain protein (StriFK) plus a nitrogen bisphosphonate-modified zinc-aluminum hybrid adjuvant (FH002C). StriFK-FH002C generated substantially higher neutralizing antibody titers in mice, hamsters, and cynomolgus monkeys than those observed in plasma isolated from COVID-19 convalescent individuals. StriFK-FH002C also induced both TH1- and TH2-polarized helper T cell responses in mice. In hamsters, StriFK-FH002C immunization protected animals against SARS-CoV-2 challenge, as shown by the absence of virus-induced weight loss, fewer symptoms of disease, and reduced lung pathology. Vaccination of hamsters with StriFK-FH002C also reduced within-cage virus transmission to unvaccinated, cohoused hamsters. In summary, StriFK-FH002C represents an effective, protein subunit-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate.

COVID-19 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cricetinae , Humans , Mice , Protein Subunits , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 2076-2090, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-913103


The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic was the result of the rapid transmission of a highly pathogenic coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), for which there is no efficacious vaccine or therapeutic. Toward the development of a vaccine, here we expressed and evaluated as potential candidates four versions of the spike (S) protein using an insect cell expression system: receptor binding domain (RBD), S1 subunit, the wild-type S ectodomain (S-WT), and the prefusion trimer-stabilized form (S-2P). We showed that RBD appears as a monomer in solution, whereas S1, S-WT, and S-2P associate as homotrimers with substantial glycosylation. Cryo-electron microscopy analyses suggested that S-2P assumes an identical trimer conformation as the similarly engineered S protein expressed in 293 mammalian cells but with reduced glycosylation. Overall, the four proteins confer excellent antigenicity with convalescent COVID-19 patient sera in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), yet show distinct reactivities in immunoblotting. RBD, S-WT and S-2P, but not S1, induce high neutralization titres (>3-log) in mice after a three-round immunization regimen. The high immunogenicity of S-2P could be maintained at the lowest dose (1 µg) with the inclusion of an aluminium adjuvant. Higher doses (20 µg) of S-2P can elicit high neutralization titres in non-human primates that exceed 40-times the mean titres measured in convalescent COVID-19 subjects. Our results suggest that the prefusion trimer-stabilized SARS-CoV-2 S-protein from insect cells may offer a potential candidate strategy for the development of a recombinant COVID-19 vaccine.

Antigens, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cell Line , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Macaca fascicularis , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Neutralization Tests , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Protein Domains/genetics , Protein Domains/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sf9 Cells , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spodoptera , Vaccination , Viral Envelope Proteins/immunology