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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-333031

ABSTRACT

As the world continues to experience the COVID-19 pandemic, seasonal influenza remain a cause of severe morbidity and mortality globally. Worse yet, coinfection with SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A virus (IAV) leads to more severe clinical outcomes. The development of a combined vaccine against both COVID-19 and influenza is thus of high priority. Based on our established lipid nanoparticle (LNP)-encapsulated mRNA vaccine platform, we developed and characterized a novel mRNA vaccine encoding the HA antigen of influenza A (H1N1) virus, termed ARIAV. Then, ARIAV was combined with our COVID-19 mRNA vaccine ARCoV, which encodes the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 S protein, to formulate the final combined vaccine, AR-CoV/IAV. Further characterization demonstrated that immunization with two doses of AR-CoV/IAV elicited robust protective antibodies as well as antigen-specific cellular immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 and IAV. More importantly, AR-CoV/IAV immunization protected mice from coinfection with IAV and the SARS-CoV-2 Alpha and Delta variants. Our results highlight the potential of the LNP-mRNA vaccine platform in preventing COVID-19 and influenza, as well as other respiratory diseases.

2.
Research Square ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1786456

ABSTRACT

As the world continues to experience the COVID-19 pandemic, seasonal influenza remain a cause of severe morbidity and mortality globally. Worse yet, coinfection with SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A virus (IAV) leads to more severe clinical outcomes. The development of a combined vaccine against both COVID-19 and influenza is thus of high priority. Based on our established lipid nanoparticle (LNP)-encapsulated mRNA vaccine platform, we developed and characterized a novel mRNA vaccine encoding the HA antigen of influenza A (H1N1) virus, termed ARIAV. Then, ARIAV was combined with our COVID-19 mRNA vaccine ARCoV, which encodes the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 S protein, to formulate the final combined vaccine, AR-CoV/IAV. Further characterization demonstrated that immunization with two doses of AR-CoV/IAV elicited robust protective antibodies as well as antigen-specific cellular immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 and IAV. More importantly, AR-CoV/IAV immunization protected mice from coinfection with IAV and the SARS-CoV-2 Alpha and Delta variants. Our results highlight the potential of the LNP-mRNA vaccine platform in preventing COVID-19 and influenza, as well as other respiratory diseases.

3.
J Med Virol ; 94(7): 3223-3232, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1756617

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has evolved into a panel of variants of concern (VOCs) and constituted a sustained threat to global health. The wildtype (WT) SARS-CoV-2 isolates fail to infect mice, while the Beta variant, one of the VOCs, has acquired the capability to infect standard laboratory mice, raising a spreading risk of SARS-CoV-2 from humans to mice. However, the infectivity and pathogenicity of other VOCs in mice remain not fully understood. In this study, we systematically investigated the infectivity and pathogenicity of three VOCs, Alpha, Beta, and Delta, in mice in comparison with two well-understood SARS-CoV-2 mouse-adapted strains, MASCp6 and MASCp36, sharing key mutations in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) with Alpha or Beta, respectively. Our results showed that the Beta variant had the strongest infectivity and pathogenicity among the three VOCs, while the Delta variant only caused limited replication and mild pathogenic changes in the mouse lung, which is much weaker than what the Alpha variant did. Meanwhile, Alpha showed comparable infectivity in lungs in comparison with MASCp6, and Beta only showed slightly lower infectivity in lungs when compared with MASCp36. These results indicated that all three VOCs have acquired the capability to infect mice, highlighting the ongoing spillover risk of SARS-CoV-2 from humans to mice during the continued evolution of SARS-CoV-2, and that the key amino acid mutations in the RBD of mouse-adapted strains may be referenced as an early-warning indicator for predicting the spillover risk of newly emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Humans , Mice , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
4.
Innovation (Camb) ; 3(2): 100221, 2022 Mar 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1713028

ABSTRACT

The highly pathogenic and readily transmissible SARS-CoV-2 has caused a global coronavirus pandemic, urgently requiring effective countermeasures against its rapid expansion. All available vaccine platforms are being used to generate safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. Here, we generated a live-attenuated candidate vaccine strain by serial passaging of a SARS-CoV-2 clinical isolate in Vero cells. Deep sequencing revealed the dynamic adaptation of SARS-CoV-2 in Vero cells, resulting in a stable clone with a deletion of seven amino acids (N679SPRRAR685) at the S1/S2 junction of the S protein (named VAS5). VAS5 showed significant attenuation of replication in multiple human cell lines, human airway epithelium organoids, and hACE2 mice. Viral fitness competition assays demonstrated that VAS5 showed specific tropism to Vero cells but decreased fitness in human cells compared with the parental virus. More importantly, a single intranasal injection of VAS5 elicited a high level of neutralizing antibodies and prevented SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice as well as close-contact transmission in golden Syrian hamsters. Structural and biochemical analysis revealed a stable and locked prefusion conformation of the S trimer of VAS5, which most resembles SARS-CoV-2-3Q-2P, an advanced vaccine immunogen (NVAX-CoV2373). Further systematic antigenic profiling and immunogenicity validation confirmed that the VAS5 S trimer presents an enhanced antigenic mimic of the wild-type S trimer. Our results not only provide a potent live-attenuated vaccine candidate against COVID-19 but also clarify the molecular and structural basis for the highly attenuated and super immunogenic phenotype of VAS5.

8.
Cell Res ; 31(1): 25-36, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387275

ABSTRACT

Structural principles underlying the composition and synergistic mechanisms of protective monoclonal antibody cocktails are poorly defined. Here, we exploited antibody cooperativity to develop a therapeutic antibody cocktail against SARS-CoV-2. On the basis of our previously identified humanized cross-neutralizing antibody H014, we systematically analyzed a fully human naive antibody library and rationally identified a potent neutralizing antibody partner, P17, which confers effective protection in animal model. Cryo-EM studies dissected the nature of the P17 epitope, which is SARS-CoV-2 specific and distinctly different from that of H014. High-resolution structure of the SARS-CoV-2 spike in complex with H014 and P17, together with functional investigations revealed that in a two-antibody cocktail, synergistic neutralization was achieved by S1 shielding and conformational locking, thereby blocking receptor attachment and viral membrane fusion, conferring high potency as well as robustness against viral mutation escape. Furthermore, cluster analysis identified a hypothetical 3rd antibody partner for further reinforcing the cocktail as pan-SARS-CoVs therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 , Epitopes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Chain Antibodies/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/pharmacology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Single-Chain Antibodies/pharmacology , Vero Cells
9.
Cell Discov ; 7(1): 49, 2021 Jul 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1298837

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection causes a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations in humans, and olfactory dysfunction is one of the most predictive and common symptoms in COVID-19 patients. However, the underlying mechanism by which SARS-CoV-2 infection leads to olfactory disorders remains elusive. Herein, we demonstrate that intranasal inoculation with SARS-CoV-2 induces robust viral replication in the olfactory epithelium (OE), not the olfactory bulb (OB), resulting in transient olfactory dysfunction in humanized ACE2 (hACE2) mice. The sustentacular cells and Bowman's gland cells in the OE were identified as the major target cells of SARS-CoV-2 before invasion into olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs). Remarkably, SARS-CoV-2 infection triggers massive cell death and immune cell infiltration and directly impairs the uniformity of the OE structure. Combined transcriptomic and quantitative proteomic analyses revealed the induction of antiviral and inflammatory responses, as well as the downregulation of olfactory receptor (OR) genes in the OE from the infected animals. Overall, our mouse model recapitulates olfactory dysfunction in COVID-19 patients and provides critical clues for understanding the physiological basis for extrapulmonary manifestations of COVID-19.

10.
Natl Sci Rev ; 8(3): nwaa297, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-990776

ABSTRACT

Receptor recognition and subsequent membrane fusion are essential for the establishment of successful infection by SARS-CoV-2. Halting these steps can cure COVID-19. Here we have identified and characterized a potent human monoclonal antibody, HB27, that blocks SARS-CoV-2 attachment to its cellular receptor at sub-nM concentrations. Remarkably, HB27 can also prevent SARS-CoV-2 membrane fusion. Consequently, a single dose of HB27 conferred effective protection against SARS-CoV-2 in two established mouse models. Rhesus macaques showed no obvious adverse events when administrated with 10 times the effective dose of HB27. Cryo-EM studies on complex of SARS-CoV-2 trimeric S with HB27 Fab reveal that three Fab fragments work synergistically to occlude SARS-CoV-2 from binding to the ACE2 receptor. Binding of the antibody also restrains any further conformational changes of the receptor binding domain, possibly interfering with progression from the prefusion to the postfusion stage. These results suggest that HB27 is a promising candidate for immuno-therapies against COVID-19.

11.
Cell Res ; 31(1): 25-36, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-952976

ABSTRACT

Structural principles underlying the composition and synergistic mechanisms of protective monoclonal antibody cocktails are poorly defined. Here, we exploited antibody cooperativity to develop a therapeutic antibody cocktail against SARS-CoV-2. On the basis of our previously identified humanized cross-neutralizing antibody H014, we systematically analyzed a fully human naive antibody library and rationally identified a potent neutralizing antibody partner, P17, which confers effective protection in animal model. Cryo-EM studies dissected the nature of the P17 epitope, which is SARS-CoV-2 specific and distinctly different from that of H014. High-resolution structure of the SARS-CoV-2 spike in complex with H014 and P17, together with functional investigations revealed that in a two-antibody cocktail, synergistic neutralization was achieved by S1 shielding and conformational locking, thereby blocking receptor attachment and viral membrane fusion, conferring high potency as well as robustness against viral mutation escape. Furthermore, cluster analysis identified a hypothetical 3rd antibody partner for further reinforcing the cocktail as pan-SARS-CoVs therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 , Epitopes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Chain Antibodies/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/pharmacology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Single-Chain Antibodies/pharmacology , Vero Cells
12.
Cell ; 182(5): 1271-1283.e16, 2020 09 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-666099

ABSTRACT

There is an urgent need for vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) because of the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Among all approaches, a messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccine has emerged as a rapid and versatile platform to quickly respond to this challenge. Here, we developed a lipid nanoparticle-encapsulated mRNA (mRNA-LNP) encoding the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 as a vaccine candidate (called ARCoV). Intramuscular immunization of ARCoV mRNA-LNP elicited robust neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 as well as a Th1-biased cellular response in mice and non-human primates. Two doses of ARCoV immunization in mice conferred complete protection against the challenge of a SARS-CoV-2 mouse-adapted strain. Additionally, ARCoV is manufactured as a liquid formulation and can be stored at room temperature for at least 1 week. ARCoV is currently being evaluated in phase 1 clinical trials.


Subject(s)
RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Binding Sites , COVID-19 Vaccines , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Female , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Injections, Intramuscular , Macaca fascicularis , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred ICR , Nanoparticles/chemistry , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Th1 Cells/immunology , Vaccine Potency , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , Vero Cells , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage , Viral Vaccines/genetics
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