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2.
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 21393, 2020 12 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387456

ABSTRACT

Antibodies are essential tools for therapy and diagnostics. Yet, production remains expensive as it is mostly done in mammalian expression systems. As most therapeutic IgG require mammalian glycosylation to interact with the human immune system, other expression systems are rarely used for production. However, for neutralizing antibodies that are not required to activate the human immune system as well as antibodies used in diagnostics, a cheaper production system would be advantageous. In our study, we show cost-efficient, easy and high yield production of antibodies as well as various secreted antigens including Interleukins and SARS-CoV-2 related proteins in a baculovirus-free insect cell expression system. To improve yields, we optimized the expression vector, media and feeding strategies. In addition, we showed the feasibility of lyophilization of the insect cell produced antibodies. Furthermore, stability and activity of the antibodies was compared to antibodies produced by Expi293F cells revealing a lower aggregation of antibodies originating from High Five cell production. Finally, the newly established High Five expression system was compared to the Expi293F mammalian expression system in regard of yield and costs. Most interestingly, all tested proteins were producible in our High Five cell expression system what was not the case in the Expi293F system, hinting that the High Five cell system is especially suited to produce difficult-to-express target proteins.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antigens, Viral/biosynthesis , Cloning, Molecular , Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Protein Stability , Spodoptera
3.
Biotechnol Bioeng ; 118(6): 2202-2219, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1098874

ABSTRACT

Serological assays are valuable tools to study SARS-CoV-2 spread and, importantly, to identify individuals that were already infected and would be potentially immune to a virus reinfection. SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein and its receptor binding domain (RBD) are the antigens with higher potential to develop SARS-CoV-2 serological assays. Moreover, structural studies of these antigens are key to understand the molecular basis for Spike interaction with angiotensin converting enzyme 2 receptor, hopefully enabling the development of COVID-19 therapeutics. Thus, it is urgent that significant amounts of this protein became available at the highest quality. In this study, we produced Spike and RBD in two human derived cell hosts: HEK293-E6 and Expi293F™. We evaluated the impact of different and scalable bioprocessing approaches on Spike and RBD production yields and, more importantly, on these antigens' quality attributes. Using negative and positive sera collected from human donors, we show an excellent performance of the produced antigens, assessed in serologic enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) tests, as denoted by the high specificity and sensitivity of the test. We show robust Spike productions with final yields of approx. 2 mg/L of culture that were maintained independently of the production scale or cell culture strategy. To the best of our knowledge, the final yield of 90 mg/L of culture obtained for RBD production, was the highest reported to date. An in-depth characterization of SARS-CoV-2 Spike and RBD proteins was performed, namely the antigen's oligomeric state, glycosylation profiles, and thermal stability during storage. The correlation of these quality attributes with ELISA performance show equivalent reactivity to SARS-CoV-2 positive serum, for all Spike and RBD produced, and for all storage conditions tested. Overall, we provide straightforward protocols to produce high-quality SARS-CoV-2 Spike and RBD antigens, that can be easily adapted to both academic and industrial settings; and integrate, for the first time, studies on the impact of bioprocess with an in-depth characterization of these proteins, correlating antigen's glycosylation and biophysical attributes to performance of COVID-19 serologic tests.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/biosynthesis , Glycosylation , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/biosynthesis , Cold Temperature , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/standards , Freezing , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Protein Conformation , Protein Stability , Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Proteins/standards , SARS-CoV-2 , Serologic Tests/standards , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/standards
4.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun ; 545: 145-149, 2021 03 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1061767

ABSTRACT

In March 2013 it was reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) the first cases of human infections with avian influenza virus A (H7N9). From 2013 to December 2019, 1568 cases have been reported with 616 deaths. H7N9 infection has been associated with high morbidity and mortality rates, and vaccination is currently the most effective way to prevent infections and consequently flu-related severe illness. Developing and producing vaccines against pandemic influenza viruses is the main strategy for a response to a possible pandemic. This study aims to present the production of three industrial lots under current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) of the active antigen used to produce the pandemic influenza vaccine candidate against A(H7N9). These batches were characterized and evaluated for quality standards and tested for immunogenicity in mice. The average yield was 173.50 ± 7.88 µg/mL of hemagglutinin and all the preparations met all the required specifications. The formulated H7N9 vaccine is poorly immunogenic and needs to be adjuvanted with an oil in water emulsion adjuvant (IB160) to achieve a best immune response, in a prime and in a boost scheme. These data are important for initial production planning and preparedness in the case of a H7N9 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Influenza A Virus, H7N9 Subtype/immunology , Influenza Vaccines/biosynthesis , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Animals , Antigens, Viral/biosynthesis , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Drug Compounding/methods , Drug Compounding/statistics & numerical data , Drug Industry/standards , Female , Humans , Influenza Vaccines/immunology , Influenza Vaccines/isolation & purification , Influenza, Human/immunology , Influenza, Human/virology , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Vaccines, Inactivated/biosynthesis , Vaccines, Inactivated/immunology , Vaccines, Inactivated/isolation & purification
5.
Elife ; 92020 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-809713

ABSTRACT

Understanding the emergence of novel viruses requires an accurate and comprehensive annotation of their genomes. Overlapping genes (OLGs) are common in viruses and have been associated with pandemics but are still widely overlooked. We identify and characterize ORF3d, a novel OLG in SARS-CoV-2 that is also present in Guangxi pangolin-CoVs but not other closely related pangolin-CoVs or bat-CoVs. We then document evidence of ORF3d translation, characterize its protein sequence, and conduct an evolutionary analysis at three levels: between taxa (21 members of Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus), between human hosts (3978 SARS-CoV-2 consensus sequences), and within human hosts (401 deeply sequenced SARS-CoV-2 samples). ORF3d has been independently identified and shown to elicit a strong antibody response in COVID-19 patients. However, it has been misclassified as the unrelated gene ORF3b, leading to confusion. Our results liken ORF3d to other accessory genes in emerging viruses and highlight the importance of OLGs.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Evolution, Molecular , Genes, Overlapping , Genes, Viral , Host Specificity/genetics , Open Reading Frames/genetics , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Viral Proteins/genetics , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Specificity , Antigens, Viral/biosynthesis , Antigens, Viral/genetics , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , China/epidemiology , Chiroptera/virology , Coronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , Europe/epidemiology , Eutheria/virology , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral , Genetic Variation , Haplotypes/genetics , Humans , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Phylogeny , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Protein Biosynthesis , Protein Conformation , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Alignment , Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid , Viral Proteins/immunology
6.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 1712-1721, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-632216

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in a pandemic and is continuing to spread rapidly around the globe. No effective vaccine is currently available to prevent COVID-19, and intense efforts are being invested worldwide into vaccine development. In this context, all technology platforms must overcome several challenges resulting from the use of an incompletely characterized new virus. These include finding the right conditions for virus amplification for the development of vaccines based on inactivated or attenuated whole viral particles. Here, we describe a shotgun tandem mass spectrometry workflow, the data produced can be used to guide optimization of the conditions for viral amplification. In parallel, we analysed the changes occurring in the host cell proteome following SARS-CoV-2 infection to glean information on the biological processes modulated by the virus that could be further explored as potential drug targets to deal with the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/biosynthesis , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Proteomics/methods , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Virion/immunology , Animals , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , SARS-CoV-2 , Tandem Mass Spectrometry , Vero Cells
7.
Curr Protoc Microbiol ; 57(1): e100, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-72322

ABSTRACT

In late 2019, cases of atypical pneumonia were detected in China. The etiological agent was quickly identified as a betacoronavirus (named SARS-CoV-2), which has since caused a pandemic. Several methods allowing for the specific detection of viral nucleic acids have been established, but these only allow detection of the virus during a short period of time, generally during acute infection. Serological assays are urgently needed to conduct serosurveys, to understand the antibody responses mounted in response to the virus, and to identify individuals who are potentially immune to re-infection. Here we describe a detailed protocol for expression of antigens derived from the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 that can serve as a substrate for immunological assays, as well as a two-stage serological enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). These assays can be used for research studies and for testing in clinical laboratories. © 2020 The Authors. Basic Protocol 1: Mammalian cell transfection and protein purification Basic Protocol 2: A two-stage ELISA for high-throughput screening of human serum samples for antibodies binding to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigens, Viral/biosynthesis , Antigens, Viral/isolation & purification , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/biosynthesis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroconversion , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
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