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1.
J Microbiol Biotechnol ; 32(10): 1335-1343, 2022 Oct 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2115579

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is an emerging disease that poses a severe threat to global public health. As such, there is an urgent demand for vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Here, we describe a virus-like nanoparticle candidate vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 produced by an E. coli expression system. The fusion protein of a truncated ORF2-encoded protein of aa 439~608 (p170) from hepatitis E virus CCJD-517 and the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein from SARS-CoV-2 were expressed, purified and characterized. The antigenicity and immunogenicity of p170-RBD were evaluated in vitro and in Kunming mice. Our investigation revealed that p170-RBD self-assembled into approximately 24 nm virus-like particles, which could bind to serum from vaccinated people (p < 0.001) and receptors on cells. Immunization with p170-RBD induced the titer of IgG antibody vaccine increased from 14 days post-immunization and was significantly enhanced after a booster immunization at 28 dpi, ultimately reaching a peak level on 42 dpi with a titer of 4.97 log10. Pseudovirus neutralization tests showed that the candidate vaccine induced a strong neutralizing antibody response in mice. In this research, we demonstrated that p170-RBD possesses strong antigenicity and immunogenicity and could be a potential candidate for use in future SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hepatitis E virus , Viral Vaccines , Animals , Humans , Mice , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Capsid Proteins/genetics , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Escherichia coli , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Viral Vaccines/genetics
3.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 19087, 2022 Nov 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2106475

ABSTRACT

The World Health Organization categorized SARS-CoV-2 as a variant of concern, having numerous mutations in spike protein, which have been found to evade the effect of antibodies stimulated by the COVID-19 vaccine. The susceptibility to omicron variant by immunization-induced antibodies are direly required for risk evaluation. To avoid the risk of arising viral illness, the construction of a specific vaccine that triggers the production of targeted antibodies to combat infection remains highly imperative. The aim of the present study is to develop a particular vaccine exploiting bioinformatics approaches which can target B- and T-cells epitopes. Through this approach, novel epitopes of the S protein-SARS-CoV-2 were predicted for the development of a multiple epitope vaccine. Multiple epitopes were selected on the basis of toxicity, immunogenicity and antigenicity, and vaccine subunit was constructed having potential immunogenic properties. The epitopes were linked with 3 types of linker EAAAK, AAY and GPGPG for vaccine construction. Subsequently, vaccine structure was docked with the receptor and cloned in a pET-28a (+) vector. The constructed vaccine was ligated in pET-28a (+) vector in E. coli using the SnapGene tool for the expression study and a good immune response was observed. Several computational tools were used to predict and analyze the vaccine constructed by using spike protein sequence of omicrons. The current study identified a Multi-Epitope Vaccine (MEV) as a significant vaccine candidate that could potentially help the global world to combat SARS-CoV-2 infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , COVID-19/prevention & control , Computational Biology , Escherichia coli , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
4.
Immunobiology ; 227(6): 152287, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2105123

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Epitope selection is the key to peptide vaccines development. Bioinformatics tools can efficiently improve the screening of antigenic epitopes and help to choose the right ones. OBJECTIVE: To predict, synthesize and testify peptide epitopes at spike protein, assess the effect of mutations on epitope humoral immunity, thus provide clues for the design and development of epitope peptide vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: Bioinformatics servers and immunological tools were used to identify the helper T lymphocyte, cytotoxic T lymphocyte, and linear B lymphocyte epitopes on the S protein of SARS-CoV-2. Physicochemical properties of candidate epitopes were analyzed using IEDB, VaxiJen, and AllerTOP online software. Three candidate epitopes were synthesized and their antigenic responses were evaluated by binding antibody detection. RESULTS: A total of 20 antigenic, non-toxic and non-allergenic candidate epitopes were identified from 1502 epitopes, including 6 helper T-cell epitopes, 13 cytotoxic T-cell epitopes, and 1 linear B cell epitope. After immunization with antigen containing candidate epitopes S206-221, S403-425, and S1157-1170 in rabbits, the binding titers of serum antibody to the corresponding peptide, S protein, receptor-binding domain protein were (415044, 2582, 209.3), (852819, 45238, 457767) and (357897, 10528, 13.79), respectively. The binding titers to Omicron S protein were 642, 12,878 and 7750, respectively, showing that N211L, DEL212 and K417N mutations cause the reduction of the antibody binding activity. CONCLUSIONS: Bioinformatic methods are effective in peptide epitopes design. Certain mutations of the Omicron would lead to the loss of antibody affinity to Omicron S protein.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Animals , Humans , Rabbits , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Computational Biology/methods , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Immunity, Humoral , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/genetics , Vaccines, Subunit , Peptides
5.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(21)2022 Oct 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2090212

ABSTRACT

Mutations in surface proteins enable emerging variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to escape a substantial fraction of neutralizing antibodies and may thus weaken vaccine-driven immunity. To compare available vaccines and justify revaccination, rapid evaluation of antibody (Ab) responses to currently circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants of interest (VOI) and concern (VOC) is needed. Here, we developed a multiplex protein microarray-based system for rapid profiling of anti-SARS-CoV-2 Ab levels in human sera. The microarray system was validated using sera samples from SARS-CoV-2-free donors and those diagnosed with COVID-19 based on PCR and enzyme immunoassays. Microarray-based profiling of vaccinated donors revealed a substantial difference in anti-VOC Ab levels elicited by the replication-deficient adenovirus vector-base (Sputnik V) and whole-virion (CoviVac Russia COVID-19) vaccines. Whole-virion vaccine-induced Abs showed minor but statistically significant cross-reactivity with the human blood coagulation factor 1 (fibrinogen) and thrombin. However, their effects on blood clotting were negligible, according to thrombin time tests, providing evidence against the concept of pronounced cross-reactivity-related side effects of the vaccine. Importantly, all samples were collected in the pre-Omicron period but showed noticeable responses to the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the Omicron spike protein. Thus, using the new express Ab-profiling system, we confirmed the inter-variant cross-reactivity of the anti-SARS-CoV-2 Abs and demonstrated the relative potency of the vaccines against new VOCs.


Subject(s)
Antibody Formation , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation/genetics , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccination , Viral Vaccines/genetics , Viral Vaccines/pharmacology , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , Microarray Analysis
6.
Viruses ; 14(10)2022 10 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2082338

ABSTRACT

It has been argued that vaccine-breakthrough infections of SARS-CoV-2 would likely accelerate the emergence of novel variants with immune evasion. This study explored the evolutionary patterns of the Delta variant in countries/regions with relatively high and low vaccine coverage based on large-scale sequences. Our results showed that (i) the sequences were grouped into two clusters (L and R); the R cluster was dominant, its proportion increased over time and was higher in the high-vaccine-coverage areas; (ii) genetic diversities in the countries/regions with low vaccine coverage were higher than those in the ones with high vaccine coverage; (iii) unique mutations and co-mutations were detected in different countries/regions; in particular, common co-mutations were exhibited in highly occurring frequencies in the areas with high vaccine coverage and presented in increasing frequencies over time in the areas with low vaccine coverage; (iv) five sites on the S protein were under strong positive selection in different countries/regions, with three in non-C to U sites (I95T, G142D and T950N), and the occurring frequencies of I95T in high vaccine coverage areas were higher, while G142D and T950N were potentially immune-pressure-selected sites; and (v) mutation at the N6-methyladenosine site 4 on ORF7a (C27527T, P45L) was detected and might be caused by immune pressure. Our study suggested that certain variation differences existed between countries/regions with high and low vaccine coverage, but they were not likely caused by host immune pressure. We inferred that no extra immune pressures on SARS-CoV-2 were generated with high vaccine coverage, and we suggest promoting and strengthening the uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine worldwide, especially in less developed areas.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Mutation , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
7.
Int Immunopharmacol ; 112: 109224, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2076214

ABSTRACT

In the worrisome scenarios of various waves of SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, a comprehensive bioinformatics pipeline is essential to analyse the virus genomes in order to understand its evolution, thereby identifying mutations as signature SNPs, conserved regions and subsequently to design epitope based synthetic vaccine. We have thus performed multiple sequence alignment of 4996 Indian SARS-CoV-2 genomes as a case study using MAFFT followed by phylogenetic analysis using Nextstrain to identify virus clades. Furthermore, based on the entropy of each genomic coordinate of the aligned sequences, conserved regions are identified. After refinement of the conserved regions, based on its length, one conserved region is identified for which the primers and probes are reported for virus detection. The refined conserved regions are also used to identify T-cell and B-cell epitopes along with their immunogenic and antigenic scores. Such scores are used for selecting the most immunogenic and antigenic epitopes. By executing this pipeline, 40 unique signature SNPs are identified resulting in 23 non-synonymous signature SNPs which provide 28 amino acid changes in protein. On the other hand, 12 conserved regions are selected based on refinement criteria out of which one is selected as the potential target for virus detection. Additionally, 22 MHC-I and 21 MHC-II restricted T-cell epitopes with 10 unique HLA alleles each and 17 B-cell epitopes are obtained for 12 conserved regions. All the results are validated both quantitatively and qualitatively which show that from genetic variability to synthetic vaccine design, the proposed pipeline can be used effectively to combat SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Computational Biology , Phylogeny , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , Amino Acids
8.
Sheng Wu Gong Cheng Xue Bao ; 38(9): 3353-3362, 2022 Sep 25.
Article in Chinese | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2056455

ABSTRACT

A fusion protein containing a tetanus toxin peptide, a tuftsin peptide and a SARS-CoV-2S protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) was prepared to investigate the effect of intramolecular adjuvant on humoral and cellular immunity of RBD protein. The tetanus toxin peptide, tuftsin peptide and S protein RBD region were connected by a flexible polypeptide, and a recombinant vector was constructed after codon optimization. The recombinant S-TT-tuftsin protein was prepared by prokaryotic expression and purification. BALB/c mice were immunized after mixed with aluminum adjuvant, and the humoral and cellular immune effects were evaluated. The recombinant S-TT-tuftsin protein was expressed as an inclusion body, and was purified by ion exchange chromatography and renaturated by gradient dialysis. The renaturated protein was identified by Dot blotting and reacted with serum of descendants immunized with SARS-CoV-2 subunit vaccine. The results showed that the antibody level reached a plateau after 35 days of immunization, and the serum antibody ELISA titer of mice immunized with recombinant protein containing intramolecular adjuvant was up to 1:66 240, which was significantly higher than that of mice immunized with S-RBD protein (P < 0.05). At the same time, the recombinant protein containing intramolecular adjuvant stimulated mice to produce a stronger lymphocyte proliferation ability. The stimulation index was 4.71±0.15, which was significantly different from that of the S-RBD protein (1.83±0.09) (P < 0.000 1). Intramolecular adjuvant tetanus toxin peptide and tuftsin peptide significantly enhanced the humoral and cellular immune effect of the SARS-CoV-2 S protein RBD domain, which provideda theoretical basis for the development of subunit vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tuftsin , Viral Vaccines , Adjuvants, Immunologic , Aluminum , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Tetanus Toxin , Vaccines, Subunit
9.
Curr Opin HIV AIDS ; 17(6): 338-344, 2022 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2051602

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The purpose of this review is to share the excitement of new developments in the field of vaccine vector modalities against infectious diseases. The focus is on HIV-1/AIDS with reference to the most successful as well as currently tested COVID-19 vaccines, and human trials, which best inform iterative vaccine improvements. RECENT FINDINGS: Several genetic subunit vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 demonstrated protection against severe disease, obtained Emergency Use Authorization and scaled their production to billions of doses. Many more are in efficacy evaluation. In contrast, development of HIV-1 vaccines has been extremely difficult. Perseverance of scientists is deepening our understanding of what constitutes immunity against HIV-1 infection and how to achieve protective levels of relevant responses by active immunization, passive administration or a combination of both. Novel platforms led by RNA play a pivotal role. However, a difficult virus may require a complex approach. Proof of concept for HIV-1 prevention and cure might be at reach, and when it arrives, it will be a great and needed encouragement to the field. SUMMARY: Despite the enormous success of drug treatment, vaccines remain the best solution and likely a necessary component of any package that truly ends the AIDS epidemic.


Subject(s)
AIDS Vaccines , Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome , COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Viral Vaccines , AIDS Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , DNA, Viral , Genetic Vectors , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Humans , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccines, Subunit , Viral Vaccines/genetics
10.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 12: 967493, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2029957

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has posed a constant threat to human beings and the world economy for more than two years. Vaccination is the first choice to control and prevent the pandemic. However, an effective SARS-CoV-2 vaccine against the virus infection is still needed. This study designed and prepared four kinds of virus-like particles (VLPs) using an insect expression system. Two constructs encoded wild-type SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) fused with or without H5N1 matrix 1 (M1) (S and SM). The other two constructs contained a codon-optimized spike gene and/or M1 gene (mS and mSM) based on protein expression, stability, and ADE avoidance. The results showed that the VLP-based vaccine could induce high SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies in mice, including specific IgG, IgG1, and IgG2a. Moreover, the mSM group has the most robust ability to stimulate humoral immunity and cellular immunity than the other VLPs, suggesting the mSM is the best immunogen. Further studies showed that the mSM combined with Al/CpG adjuvant could stimulate animals to produce sustained high-level antibodies and establish an effective protective barrier to protect mice from challenges with mouse-adapted strain. The vaccine based on mSM and Al/CpG adjuvant is a promising candidate vaccine to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza A Virus, H5N1 Subtype , Viral Vaccines , Adjuvants, Immunologic/pharmacology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
11.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 14017, 2022 08 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1991672

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has gained mutations at an alarming rate in the past years. Developing mutations can increase the virus's pathogenicity and virulence; reduce the efficacy of vaccines, antibodies neutralization, and even challenge adaptive immunity. So, it is essential to identify conserved epitopes (with fewer mutations) in different variants with appropriate antigenicity to target the variants by an appropriate vaccine design. Yet as, 3369 SARS-CoV-2 genomes were collected from global initiative on sharing avian flu data. Then, mutations in the immunodominant regions (IDRs), immune epitope database (IEDB) epitopes, and also predicted epitopes were calculated. In the following, epitopes conservity score against the total number of events (mutations) and the number of mutated sites in each epitope was weighted by Shannon entropy and then calculated by the Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS). Based on the TOPSIS conservity score and antigenicity score, the epitopes were plotted. The result demonstrates that almost all epitopes and IDRs with various lengths have gained different numbers of mutations in dissimilar sites. Herein, our two-step calculation for conservity recommends only 8 IDRs, 14 IEDB epitopes, and 10 predicted epitopes among all epitopes. The selected ones have higher conservity and higher immunogenicity. This method is an open-source multi-criteria decision-making platform, which provides a scientific approach to selecting epitopes with appropriate conservity and immunogenicity; against ever-changing viruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/genetics , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/genetics , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
12.
Virology ; 572: 28-43, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1991334

ABSTRACT

The newly discovered SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant B.1.1.529 is a Variant of Concern (VOC) announced by the World Health Organization (WHO). It's becoming increasingly difficult to keep these variants from spreading over the planet. The fifth wave has begun in several countries because of Omicron variant, and it is posing a threat to human civilization. As a result, we need effective vaccination that can tackle Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variants that are bound to emerge. Therefore, the current study is an initiative to design a peptide-based chimeric vaccine that may potentially battle SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant. As a result, the most relevant epitopes present in the mutagenic areas of Omicron spike protein were identified using a set of computational tools and immunoinformatic techniques to uncover common MHC-1, MHC-II, and B cell epitopes that may have the ability to influence the host immune mechanism. A final of three epitopes from CD8+ T-cell, CD4+ T-cell epitopes, and B-cell were shortlisted from spike protein, and that are highly antigenic, IFN-γ inducer, as well as overlapping for the construction of twelve vaccine models. As a result, the antigenic epitopes were coupled with a flexible and stable peptide linker, and the adjuvant was added at the N-terminal end to create a unique vaccine candidate. The structure of a 3D vaccine candidate was refined, and its quality was assessed by using web servers. However, the applied immunoinformatic study along with the molecular docking and simulation of 12 modeled vaccines constructs against six distinct HLAs, and TLRs (TLR2, and TLR4) complexes revealed that the V1 construct was non-allergenic, non-toxic, highly immunogenic, antigenic, and most stable. The vaccine candidate's stability was confirmed by molecular dynamics investigations. Finally, we studied the expression of the suggested vaccination using codon optimization and in-silico cloning. The current study proposed V1 Multi-Epitope Vaccine (MEV) as a significant vaccine candidate that may help the scientific community to treat SARS-CoV-2 infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Computational Biology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/genetics , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Vaccines, Subunit/genetics
13.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(33): e2201616119, 2022 08 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1960617

ABSTRACT

With the rapid increase in SARS-CoV-2 cases in children, a safe and effective vaccine for this population is urgently needed. The MMR (measles/mumps/rubella) vaccine has been one of the safest and most effective human vaccines used in infants and children since the 1960s. Here, we developed live attenuated recombinant mumps virus (rMuV)-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates using the MuV Jeryl Lynn (JL2) vaccine strain backbone. The soluble prefusion SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (preS) gene, stablized by two prolines (preS-2P) or six prolines (preS-6P), was inserted into the MuV genome at the P-M or F-SH gene junctions in the MuV genome. preS-6P was more efficiently expressed than preS-2P, and preS-6P expression from the P-M gene junction was more efficient than from the F-SH gene junction. In mice, the rMuV-preS-6P vaccine was more immunogenic than the rMuV-preS-2P vaccine, eliciting stronger neutralizing antibodies and mucosal immunity. Sera raised in response to the rMuV-preS-6P vaccine neutralized SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, including the Delta variant equivalently. Intranasal and/or subcutaneous immunization of IFNAR1-/- mice and golden Syrian hamsters with the rMuV-preS-6P vaccine induced high levels of neutralizing antibodies, mucosal immunoglobulin A antibody, and T cell immune responses, and were completely protected from challenge by both SARS-CoV-2 USA-WA1/2020 and Delta variants. Therefore, rMuV-preS-6P is a highly promising COVID-19 vaccine candidate, warranting further development as a tetravalent MMR vaccine, which may include protection against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccine Efficacy , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine/genetics , Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine/immunology , Mesocricetus , Mice , Mumps virus/genetics , Mumps virus/immunology , Proline/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, Attenuated/genetics , Vaccines, Attenuated/immunology
14.
J Gen Virol ; 103(7)2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1932005

ABSTRACT

Current influenza vaccines, while being the best method of managing viral outbreaks, have several major drawbacks that prevent them from being wholly-effective. They need to be updated regularly and require extensive resources to develop. When considering alternatives, the recent deployment of mRNA vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 has created a unique opportunity to evaluate a new platform for seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines. The mRNA format has previously been examined for application to influenza and promising data suggest it may be a viable format for next-generation influenza vaccines. Here, we discuss the prospect of shifting global influenza vaccination efforts to an mRNA-based system that might allow better control over the product and immune responses and could aid in the development of a universal vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Humans , Influenza Vaccines/genetics , RNA, Messenger/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccination
15.
Biosci Rep ; 41(9)2021 09 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1915305

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused the global pandemic of the Coronavirus disease in late 2019 (COVID-19). Vaccine development efforts have predominantly been aimed at 'Extra-viral' Spike (S) protein as vaccine vehicles, but there are concerns regarding 'viral immune escape' since multiple mutations may enable the mutated virus strains to escape from immunity against S protein. The 'Intra-viral' Nucleocapsid (N-protein) is relatively conserved among mutant strains of coronaviruses during spread and evolution. Herein, we demonstrate novel vaccine candidates against SARS-CoV-2 by using the whole conserved N-protein or its fragment/peptides. Using ELISA assay, we showed that high titers of specific anti-N antibodies (IgG, IgG1, IgG2a, IgM) were maintained for a reasonably long duration (> 5 months), suggesting that N-protein is an excellent immunogen to stimulate host immune system and robust B-cell activation. We synthesized three peptides located at the conserved regions of N-protein among CoVs. One peptide showed as a good immunogen for vaccination as well. Cytokine arrays on post-vaccination mouse sera showed progressive up-regulation of various cytokines such as IFN-γ and CCL5, suggesting that TH1 associated responses are also stimulated. Furthermore, vaccinated mice exhibited an elevated memory T cells population. Here, we propose an unconventional vaccine strategy targeting the conserved N-protein as an alternative vaccine target for coronaviruses. Moreover, we generated a mouse monoclonal antibody specifically against an epitope shared between SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, and we are currently developing the First-in-Class humanized anti-N-protein antibody to potentially treat patients infected by various CoVs in the future.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Immune Evasion , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Mice , Models, Animal , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS Virus/genetics , SARS Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Subunit/genetics , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology
16.
Antiviral Res ; 204: 105370, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1906743

ABSTRACT

Next-generation COVID-19 vaccines are critical due to the ongoing evolution of SARS-CoV-2 virus and rapid waning duration of the neutralizing antibody response against current vaccines. The mRNA vaccines mRNA-1273 and BNT162b2 were developed using linear transcripts encoding the prefusion-stabilized trimers (S-2P) of the wildtype spike, which have shown a reduced neutralizing activity against the variants of concern B.1.617.2 and B.1.1.529. Recently, a new version of spike trimer, termed VFLIP (five (V) prolines, Flexibly-Linked, Inter-Protomer disulfide) was developed. Based on the original amino acid sequence of the wildtype spike, VFLIP was genetically engineered by using five proline substitutions, a flexible cleavage site amino acid linker, and an inter-protomer disulfide bond. It has been suggested to possess native-like glycosylation, and greater pre-fusion trimeric stability as opposed to S-2P. Here, we report that the spike protein VFLIP-X, containing six rationally substituted amino acids to reflect emerging variants (K417N, L452R, T478K, E484K, N501Y and D614G), offers a promising candidate for a next-generation SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. Mice immunized by a circular mRNA (circRNA) vaccine prototype producing VFLIP-X had detectable neutralizing antibody titers for up to 7 weeks post-boost against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) and variants of interest (VOIs). In addition, a balance in TH1 and TH2 responses was achieved by immunization with VFLIP-X. Our results indicate that the VFLIP-X delivered by circRNA induces humoral and cellular immune responses, as well as broad neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , RNA, Circular , SARS-CoV-2 , mRNA Vaccines , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Disulfides , Mice , Proline , Protein Subunits , RNA, Circular/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , mRNA Vaccines/genetics
18.
Virology ; 573: 118-123, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1886125

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 caused by the novel human severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is currently a major threat to public health worldwide. To deal with the needs of vaccine, we developed four DNA vaccine candidates against SARS-CoV-2, based on the full-length spike (S) or truncated S protein. Following mice vaccination, we measured T-cell response and antigen-specific neutralizing antibody (NAb) titer. All four candidates induced humoral immune responses, including elevated levels of total IgG and NAbs, and cell-mediated immune responses, including multiple cytokine expression. However, the full-length S DNA vaccine enhanced the immune responses most significantly. We then evaluated its appropriate antigen dose and vaccination schedule. Although all immunized groups showed higher immune response than the control group, inoculation with 50 µg antigen led to the highest NAb titer. Immunity was significantly increased after the third inoculation. Thus, the full-length S DNA vaccine can potentially prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines, DNA , Viral Vaccines , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccination
20.
Viruses ; 14(5)2022 04 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1879492

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), especially emerging variants, poses an increased threat to global public health. The significant reduction in neutralization activity against the variants such as B.1.351 in the serum of convalescent patients and vaccinated people calls for the design of new potent vaccines targeting the emerging variant. However, since most vaccines approved and in clinical trials are based on the sequence of the original SARS-CoV-2 strain, the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of vaccines based on the B.1.351 variant remain largely unknown. In this study, we evaluated the immunogenicity, induced neutralization activity, and protective efficacy of wild-type spike protein nanoparticle (S-2P) and mutant spike protein nanoparticle (S-4M-2P) carrying characteristic mutations of B.1.351 variant in mice. Although there was no significant difference in the induction of spike-specific IgG responses in S-2P- and S-4M-2P-immunized mice, neutralizing antibodies elicited by S-4M-2P exhibited noteworthy, narrower breadth of reactivity with SARS-CoV-2 variants compared with neutralizing antibodies elicited by S-2P. Furthermore, the decrease of induced neutralizing antibody breadth at least partly resulted from the amino acid substitution at position 484. Moreover, S-4M-2P vaccination conferred insufficient protection against live SARS-CoV-2 virus infection, while S-2P vaccination gave definite protection against SARS-CoV-2 challenge in mice. Together, our study provides direct evidence that the E484K substitution in a SARS-CoV-2 subunit protein vaccine limited the cross-reactive neutralizing antibody breadth in mice and, more importantly, draws attention to the unfavorable impact of this mutation in spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 variants on the induction of potent neutralizing antibody responses.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Cross Reactions , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccines, Subunit/genetics , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology
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