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Sci Transl Med ; 14(646): eabn1252, 2022 05 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1784766


New variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continue to arise and prolong the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Here, we used a cell-free expression workflow to rapidly screen and optimize constructs containing multiple computationally designed miniprotein inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2. We found the broadest efficacy was achieved with a homotrimeric version of the 75-residue angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) mimic AHB2 (TRI2-2) designed to geometrically match the trimeric spike architecture. Consistent with the design model, in the cryo-electron microscopy structure TRI2-2 forms a tripod at the apex of the spike protein that engaged all three receptor binding domains simultaneously. TRI2-2 neutralized Omicron (B.1.1.529), Delta (B.1.617.2), and all other variants tested with greater potency than the monoclonal antibodies used clinically for the treatment of COVID-19. TRI2-2 also conferred prophylactic and therapeutic protection against SARS-CoV-2 challenge when administered intranasally in mice. Designed miniprotein receptor mimics geometrically arrayed to match pathogen receptor binding sites could be a widely applicable antiviral therapeutic strategy with advantages over antibodies in greater resistance to viral escape and antigenic drift, and advantages over native receptor traps in lower chances of autoimmune responses.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Humans , Mice , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
JCI Insight ; 6(24)2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518199


Kidneys are critical target organs of COVID-19, but susceptibility and responses to infection remain poorly understood. Here, we combine SARS-CoV-2 variants with genome-edited kidney organoids and clinical data to investigate tropism, mechanism, and therapeutics. SARS-CoV-2 specifically infects organoid proximal tubules among diverse cell types. Infections produce replicating virus, apoptosis, and disrupted cell morphology, features of which are revealed in the context of polycystic kidney disease. Cross-validation of gene expression patterns in organoids reflects proteomic signatures of COVID-19 in the urine of critically ill patients indicating interferon pathway upregulation. SARS-CoV-2 viral variants alpha, beta, gamma, kappa, and delta exhibit comparable levels of infection in organoids. Infection is ameliorated in ACE2-/- organoids and blocked via treatment with de novo-designed spike binder peptides. Collectively, these studies clarify the impact of kidney infection in COVID-19 as reflected in organoids and clinical populations, enabling assessment of viral fitness and emerging therapies.

Acute Kidney Injury/urine , COVID-19/urine , Kidney Tubules, Proximal/virology , Kidney/virology , Organoids/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Acute Kidney Injury/etiology , Adult , Aged , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Apoptosis , Bowman Capsule/cytology , Bowman Capsule/virology , COVID-19/complications , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , Gene Knockout Techniques , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization , Humans , Kidney/metabolism , Kidney/pathology , Kidney Tubules, Proximal/metabolism , Kidney Tubules, Proximal/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Organoids/metabolism , Podocytes/virology , Polycystic Kidney Diseases , Protein Kinase D2/genetics , Proteome , Receptors, Coronavirus/genetics , Reproducibility of Results , Transcriptome , Vero Cells , Viral Tropism , Virus Replication
Science ; 372(6537)2021 04 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1166346


Multivalent display of receptor-engaging antibodies or ligands can enhance their activity. Instead of achieving multivalency by attachment to preexisting scaffolds, here we unite form and function by the computational design of nanocages in which one structural component is an antibody or Fc-ligand fusion and the second is a designed antibody-binding homo-oligomer that drives nanocage assembly. Structures of eight nanocages determined by electron microscopy spanning dihedral, tetrahedral, octahedral, and icosahedral architectures with 2, 6, 12, and 30 antibodies per nanocage, respectively, closely match the corresponding computational models. Antibody nanocages targeting cell surface receptors enhance signaling compared with free antibodies or Fc-fusions in death receptor 5 (DR5)-mediated apoptosis, angiopoietin-1 receptor (Tie2)-mediated angiogenesis, CD40 activation, and T cell proliferation. Nanocage assembly also increases severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pseudovirus neutralization by α-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies and Fc-angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) fusion proteins.

Antibodies/chemistry , Antibodies/immunology , Nanostructures , Protein Engineering , Signal Transduction , Angiopoietins/chemistry , Angiopoietins/immunology , Angiopoietins/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD40 Antigens/chemistry , CD40 Antigens/immunology , CD40 Antigens/metabolism , Cell Line, Tumor , Cell Proliferation , Computer Simulation , Genes, Synthetic , Humans , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/chemistry , Lymphocyte Activation , Models, Molecular , Protein Binding , Receptor, TIE-2/metabolism , Receptors, TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand/immunology , Receptors, TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/physiology