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1.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 3172, 2021 05 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1550281

ABSTRACT

Secreted class 3 semaphorins (Sema3s) form tripartite complexes with the plexin receptor and neuropilin coreceptor, which are both transmembrane proteins that together mediate semaphorin signal for neuronal axon guidance and other processes. Despite extensive investigations, the overall architecture of and the molecular interactions in the Sema3/plexin/neuropilin complex are incompletely understood. Here we present the cryo-EM structure of a near intact extracellular region complex of Sema3A, PlexinA4 and Neuropilin 1 (Nrp1) at 3.7 Å resolution. The structure shows a large symmetric 2:2:2 assembly in which each subunit makes multiple interactions with others. The two PlexinA4 molecules in the complex do not interact directly, but their membrane proximal regions are close to each other and poised to promote the formation of the intracellular active dimer for signaling. The structure reveals a previously unknown interface between the a2b1b2 module in Nrp1 and the Sema domain of Sema3A. This interaction places the a2b1b2 module at the top of the complex, far away from the plasma membrane where the transmembrane regions of Nrp1 and PlexinA4 embed. As a result, the region following the a2b1b2 module in Nrp1 must span a large distance to allow the connection to the transmembrane region, suggesting an essential role for the long non-conserved linkers and the MAM domain in neuropilin in the semaphorin/plexin/neuropilin complex.


Subject(s)
Nerve Tissue Proteins/ultrastructure , Neuropilin-1/ultrastructure , Receptors, Cell Surface/ultrastructure , Semaphorin-3A/ultrastructure , Animals , COS Cells , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cryoelectron Microscopy , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mutation , Nerve Tissue Proteins/genetics , Nerve Tissue Proteins/isolation & purification , Nerve Tissue Proteins/metabolism , Neuropilin-1/genetics , Neuropilin-1/isolation & purification , Neuropilin-1/metabolism , Protein Binding/genetics , Protein Domains/genetics , Protein Multimerization/genetics , Receptors, Cell Surface/genetics , Receptors, Cell Surface/isolation & purification , Receptors, Cell Surface/metabolism , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , Recombinant Proteins/ultrastructure , Semaphorin-3A/genetics , Semaphorin-3A/isolation & purification , Semaphorin-3A/metabolism
2.
Front Immunol ; 12: 732298, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1506693

ABSTRACT

Immune modulating therapies and vaccines are in high demand, not least to the recent global spread of SARS-CoV2. To achieve efficient activation of the immune system, professional antigen presenting cells have proven to be key coordinators of such responses. Especially targeted approaches, actively directing antigens to specialized dendritic cells, promise to be more effective and accompanied by reduced payload due to less off-target effects. Although antibody and glycan-based targeting of receptors on dendritic cells have been employed, these are often expensive and time-consuming to manufacture or lack sufficient specificity. Thus, we applied a small-molecule ligand that specifically binds Langerin, a hallmark receptor on Langerhans cells, conjugated to a model protein antigen. Via microneedle injection, this construct was intradermally administered into intact human skin explants, selectively loading Langerhans cells in the epidermis. The ligand-mediated cellular uptake outpaces protein degradation resulting in intact antigen delivery. Due to the pivotal role of Langerhans cells in induction of immune responses, this approach of antigen-targeting of tissue-resident immune cells offers a novel way to deliver highly effective vaccines with minimally invasive administration.


Subject(s)
Antigens, CD/metabolism , Antigens/administration & dosage , Green Fluorescent Proteins/administration & dosage , Langerhans Cells/metabolism , Lectins, C-Type/metabolism , Mannose-Binding Lectins/metabolism , Animals , Antigens/immunology , Antigens/metabolism , COS Cells , Chlorocebus aethiops , Green Fluorescent Proteins/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Injections, Intradermal , Langerhans Cells/immunology , Ligands , Miniaturization , Nanomedicine , Needles , Protein Binding , Protein Transport , Proteolysis , THP-1 Cells , Vaccines, Subunit/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/metabolism
3.
Viruses ; 13(11)2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502526

ABSTRACT

ORF3a has been identified as a viroporin of SARS-CoV-2 and is known to be involved in various pathophysiological activities including disturbance of cellular calcium homeostasis, inflammasome activation, apoptosis induction and disruption of autophagy. ORF3a-targeting antibodies may specifically and favorably modulate these viroporin-dependent pathological activities. However, suitable viroporin-targeting antibodies are difficult to generate because of the well-recognized technical challenge associated with isolating antibodies to complex transmembrane proteins. Here we exploited a naïve human single chain antibody phage display library, to isolate binders against carefully chosen ORF3a recombinant epitopes located towards the extracellular N terminal and cytosolic C terminal domains of the protein using peptide antigens. These binders were subjected to further characterization using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and surface plasmon resonance analysis to assess their binding affinities to the target epitopes. Binding to full-length ORF3a protein was evaluated by western blot and fluorescent microscopy using ORF3a transfected cells and SARS-CoV-2 infected cells. Co-localization analysis was also performed to evaluate the "pairing potential" of the selected binders as possible alternative diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers for COVID-19 infections. Both ORF3a N and C termini, epitope-specific monoclonal antibodies were identified in our study. Whilst the linear nature of peptides might not always represent their native conformations in the context of full protein, with carefully designed selection protocols, we have been successful in isolating anti-ORF3a binders capable of recognising regions of the transmembrane protein that are exposed either on the "inside" or "outside" of the infected cell. Their therapeutic potential will be discussed.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viroporin Proteins/immunology , Animals , Biomarkers , COS Cells , Cell Surface Display Techniques/methods , Chlorocebus aethiops , Epitopes/immunology , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Membrane Proteins/immunology , Protein Domains , Vero Cells
4.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(12)2021 Jun 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1273459

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Spike glycoprotein (S protein) acquired a unique new 4 amino acid -PRRA- insertion sequence at amino acid residues (aa) 681-684 that forms a new furin cleavage site in S protein as well as several new glycosylation sites. We studied various statistical properties of the -PRRA- insertion at the RNA level (CCUCGGCGGGCA). The nucleotide composition and codon usage of this sequence are different from the rest of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. One of such features is two tandem CGG codons, although the CGG codon is the rarest codon in the SARS-CoV-2 genome. This suggests that the insertion sequence could cause ribosome pausing as the result of these rare codons. Due to population variants, the Nextstrain divergence measure of the CCU codon is extremely large. We cannot exclude that this divergence might affect host immune responses/effectiveness of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, possibilities awaiting further investigation. Our experimental studies show that the expression level of original RNA sequence "wildtype" spike protein is much lower than for codon-optimized spike protein in all studied cell lines. Interestingly, the original spike sequence produces a higher titer of pseudoviral particles and a higher level of infection. Further mutagenesis experiments suggest that this dual-effect insert, comprised of a combination of overlapping translation pausing and furin sites, has allowed SARS-CoV-2 to infect its new host (human) more readily. This underlines the importance of ribosome pausing to allow efficient regulation of protein expression and also of cotranslational subdomain folding.


Subject(s)
RNA, Viral/metabolism , Ribosomes/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Animals , Base Sequence , COS Cells , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Codon Usage , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mutagenesis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sequence Alignment , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
5.
Jpn J Infect Dis ; 74(1): 48-53, 2021 Jan 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1116920

ABSTRACT

JC polyomavirus (JCPyV) causes progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a demyelinating disease of the central nervous system affecting immunocompromised patients. The study of PML-type JCPyV in vitro has been limited owing to the inefficient propagation of the virus in cultured cells. In this study, we carried out long-term culture of COS-7 cells (designated as COS-IMRb cells) transfected with PML-type M1-IMRb, an adapted viral DNA with a rearranged non-coding control region (NCCR). The JCPyV derived from COS-IMRb cells were characterized by analyzing the viral replication, amount of virus by hemagglutination (HA), production of viral protein 1 (VP1), and structure of the NCCR. HA assays indicated the presence of high amounts of PML-type JCPyV in COS-IMRb cells. Immunostaining showed only a small population of JCPyV carrying COS-IMRb cells to be VP1-positive. Sequencing analysis of the NCCR of JCPyV after long-term culture revealed that the NCCR of M1-IMRb was conserved in COS-IMRb cells without any point mutation. The JCPyV genomic DNA derived from a clone of COS-IMRb-3 cells was detected, via Southern blotting, as a single band of approximately 5.1 kbp without deletion. These findings suggest the potential of using COS-IMRb-3 cells as a useful tool for screening anti-JCPyV drugs.


Subject(s)
JC Virus/growth & development , JC Virus/genetics , Leukoencephalopathy, Progressive Multifocal/virology , Virus Cultivation/methods , Animals , Blotting, Southern/methods , COS Cells , Chlorocebus aethiops , DNA Replication , DNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Hemagglutination , Humans , Transfection , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication
6.
Euro Surveill ; 25(28)2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-874407

ABSTRACT

BackgroundA novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which emerged at the end of 2019 and causes COVID-19, has resulted in worldwide human infections. While genetically distinct, SARS-CoV-1, the aetiological agent responsible for an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2002-2003, utilises the same host cell receptor as SARS-CoV-2 for entry: angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Parts of the SARS-CoV-1 spike glycoprotein (S protein), which interacts with ACE2, appear conserved in SARS-CoV-2.AimThe cross-reactivity with SARS-CoV-2 of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) previously generated against the S protein of SARS-CoV-1 was assessed.MethodsThe SARS-CoV-2 S protein sequence was aligned to those of SARS-CoV-1, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and common-cold coronaviruses. Abilities of mAbs generated against SARS-CoV-1 S protein to bind SARS-CoV-2 or its S protein were tested with SARS-CoV-2 infected cells as well as cells expressing either the full length protein or a fragment of its S2 subunit. Quantitative ELISA was also performed to compare binding of mAbs to recombinant S protein.ResultsAn immunogenic domain in the S2 subunit of SARS-CoV-1 S protein is highly conserved in SARS-CoV-2 but not in MERS and human common-cold coronaviruses. Four murine mAbs raised against this immunogenic fragment could recognise SARS-CoV-2 S protein expressed in mammalian cell lines. In particular, mAb 1A9 was demonstrated to detect S protein in SARS-CoV-2-infected cells and is suitable for use in a sandwich ELISA format.ConclusionThe cross-reactive mAbs may serve as useful tools for SARS-CoV-2 research and for the development of diagnostic assays for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , SARS Virus/immunology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Blotting, Western , COS Cells , COVID-19 , Chlorocebus aethiops , Conserved Sequence , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cross Reactions/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Fluorescent Antibody Technique/methods , Genome, Viral , Mice , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/immunology , Plasmids , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , SARS Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Alignment , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Transfection , Vero Cells , Virus Integration
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