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1.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(7)2022 Mar 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1785734

ABSTRACT

VHH, i.e., VH domains of camelid single-chain antibodies, are very promising therapeutic agents due to their significant physicochemical advantages compared to classical mammalian antibodies. The number of experimentally solved VHH structures has significantly improved recently, which is of great help, because it offers the ability to directly work on 3D structures to humanise or improve them. Unfortunately, most VHHs do not have 3D structures. Thus, it is essential to find alternative ways to get structural information. The methods of structure prediction from the primary amino acid sequence appear essential to bypass this limitation. This review presents the most extensive overview of structure prediction methods applied for the 3D modelling of a given VHH sequence (a total of 21). Besides the historical overview, it aims at showing how model software programs have been shaping the structural predictions of VHHs. A brief explanation of each methodology is supplied, and pertinent examples of their usage are provided. Finally, we present a structure prediction case study of a recently solved VHH structure. According to some recent studies and the present analysis, AlphaFold 2 and NanoNet appear to be the best tools to predict a structural model of VHH from its sequence.


Subject(s)
Camelids, New World , Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antibodies , Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains/chemistry , Models, Structural
2.
Sci Adv ; 8(12): eabm0220, 2022 03 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1765069

ABSTRACT

Conventional approaches to isolate and characterize nanobodies are laborious. We combine phage display, multivariate enrichment, next-generation sequencing, and a streamlined screening strategy to identify numerous anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nanobodies. We characterize their potency and specificity using neutralization assays and hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS). The most potent nanobodies bind to the receptor binding motif of the receptor binding domain (RBD), and we identify two exceptionally potent members of this category (with monomeric half-maximal inhibitory concentrations around 13 and 16 ng/ml). Other nanobodies bind to a more conserved epitope on the side of the RBD and are able to potently neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 founder virus (42 ng/ml), the Beta variant (B.1.351/501Y.V2) (35 ng/ml), and also cross-neutralize the more distantly related SARS-CoV-1 (0.46 µg/ml). The approach presented here is well suited for the screening of phage libraries to identify functional nanobodies for various biomedical and biochemical applications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Camelids, New World , Single-Domain Antibodies , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral , Camelids, New World/metabolism , Humans , Membrane Glycoproteins , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Viral Envelope Proteins/metabolism
3.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(16)2021 Aug 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662675

ABSTRACT

Iron oxide nanoparticles and single domain antibodies from camelids (VHHs) have been increasingly recognized for their potential uses for medical diagnosis and treatment. However, there have been relatively few detailed characterizations of their pharmacokinetics (PK). The aim of this study was to develop imaging methods and pharmacokinetic models to aid the future development of a novel family of brain MRI molecular contrast agents. An efficient near-infrared (NIR) imaging method was established to monitor VHH and VHH conjugated nanoparticle kinetics in mice using a hybrid approach: kinetics in blood were assessed by direct sampling, and kinetics in kidney, liver, and brain were assessed by serial in vivo NIR imaging. These studies were performed under "basal" circumstances in which the VHH constructs and VHH-conjugated nanoparticles do not substantially interact with targets nor cross the blood brain barrier. Using this approach, we constructed a five-compartment PK model that fits the data well for single VHHs, engineered VHH trimers, and iron oxide nanoparticles conjugated to VHH trimers. The establishment of the feasibility of these methods lays a foundation for future PK studies of candidate brain MRI molecular contrast agents.


Subject(s)
Camelids, New World/immunology , Kidney/chemistry , Liver/chemistry , Magnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles/chemistry , Single-Domain Antibodies/administration & dosage , Administration, Intravenous , Animals , Brain Chemistry , Female , Fluorometry , Humans , Mice , Models, Theoretical , Particle Size , Single-Domain Antibodies/blood , Single-Domain Antibodies/chemistry
4.
Elife ; 102021 12 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555771

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants threatens current vaccines and therapeutic antibodies and urgently demands powerful new therapeutics that can resist viral escape. We therefore generated a large nanobody repertoire to saturate the distinct and highly conserved available epitope space of SARS-CoV-2 spike, including the S1 receptor binding domain, N-terminal domain, and the S2 subunit, to identify new nanobody binding sites that may reflect novel mechanisms of viral neutralization. Structural mapping and functional assays show that indeed these highly stable monovalent nanobodies potently inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection, display numerous neutralization mechanisms, are effective against emerging variants of concern, and are resistant to mutational escape. Rational combinations of these nanobodies that bind to distinct sites within and between spike subunits exhibit extraordinary synergy and suggest multiple tailored therapeutic and prophylactic strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Domain Antibodies/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Binding Sites , Camelids, New World/immunology , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Male , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
5.
Cell Rep ; 37(3): 109869, 2021 10 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1517084

ABSTRACT

The dramatically expanding coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) needs multiple effective countermeasures. Neutralizing nanobodies (Nbs) are a potential therapeutic strategy for treating COVID-19. Here, we characterize several receptor binding domain (RBD)-specific Nbs isolated from an Nb library derived from an alpaca immunized with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike glycoprotein (S); among them, three Nbs exhibit picomolar potency against SARS-CoV-2 live virus, pseudotyped viruses, and circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants. To improve their efficacy, various configurations of Nbs are engineered. Nb15-NbH-Nb15, a trimer constituted of three Nbs, is constructed to be bispecific for human serum albumin (HSA) and RBD of SARS-CoV-2. Nb15-NbH-Nb15 exhibits single-digit ng/ml neutralization potency against the wild-type and Delta variants of SARS-CoV-2 with a long half-life in vivo. In addition, we show that intranasal administration of Nb15-NbH-Nb15 provides effective protection for both prophylactic and therapeutic purposes against SARS-CoV-2 infection in transgenic hACE2 mice. Nb15-NbH-Nb15 is a potential candidate for both the prevention and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 through respiratory administration.


Subject(s)
Administration, Intranasal , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Antibodies, Bispecific/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Camelids, New World , Epitopes/chemistry , Female , Humans , Kinetics , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Neutralization Tests , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Protein Engineering/methods , Serum Albumin, Human/chemistry , Single-Domain Antibodies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
6.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 10(1): 2199-2201, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1505680

ABSTRACT

We report pilot studies to evaluate the susceptibility of common domestic livestock (cattle, sheep, goat, alpaca, rabbit, and horse) to intranasal infection with SARS-CoV-2. None of the infected animals shed infectious virus via nasal, oral, or faecal routes, although viral RNA was detected in several animals. Further, neutralizing antibody titres were low or non-existent one month following infection. These results suggest that domestic livestock are unlikely to contribute to SARS-CoV-2 epidemiology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/veterinary , Host Specificity , Livestock/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Camelids, New World/virology , Cattle/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Reservoirs/virology , Goats/virology , Horses/virology , Host Specificity/immunology , Humans , Nasal Cavity/virology , RNA, Viral/analysis , Rabbits/virology , Rectum/virology , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sheep/virology , Species Specificity , Vero Cells , Virus Shedding , Viscera/virology
7.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(44)2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470027

ABSTRACT

The pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in over 100 million infections and millions of deaths. Effective vaccines remain the best hope of curtailing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, morbidity, and mortality. The vaccines in current use require cold storage and sophisticated manufacturing capacity, which complicates their distribution, especially in less developed countries. We report the development of a candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccine that is purely protein based and directly targets antigen-presenting cells. It consists of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike receptor-binding domain (SpikeRBD) fused to an alpaca-derived nanobody that recognizes class II major histocompatibility complex antigens (VHHMHCII). This vaccine elicits robust humoral and cellular immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. Both young and aged mice immunized with two doses of VHHMHCII-SpikeRBD elicit high-titer binding and neutralizing antibodies. Immunization also induces strong cellular immunity, including a robust CD8 T cell response. VHHMHCII-SpikeRBD is stable for at least 7 d at room temperature and can be lyophilized without loss of efficacy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , Antigen-Presenting Cells/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Camelids, New World/immunology , Female , Histocompatibility Antigens Class II/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Immunization, Secondary , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Pandemics/prevention & control , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/administration & dosage , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Single-Domain Antibodies/administration & dosage , Single-Domain Antibodies/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/administration & dosage , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
8.
Vet Rec ; 189(7): 264-265, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1460276

ABSTRACT

Arabella Gray discusses a novel treatment to tackle Covid-19, using nanobodies produced by llamas.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Camelids, New World , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/veterinary , SARS-CoV-2
9.
EMBO J ; 40(19): e107985, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1323478

ABSTRACT

Monoclonal anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulins represent a treatment option for COVID-19. However, their production in mammalian cells is not scalable to meet the global demand. Single-domain (VHH) antibodies (also called nanobodies) provide an alternative suitable for microbial production. Using alpaca immune libraries against the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein, we isolated 45 infection-blocking VHH antibodies. These include nanobodies that can withstand 95°C. The most effective VHH antibody neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 at 17-50 pM concentration (0.2-0.7 µg per liter), binds the open and closed states of the Spike, and shows a tight RBD interaction in the X-ray and cryo-EM structures. The best VHH trimers neutralize even at 40 ng per liter. We constructed nanobody tandems and identified nanobody monomers that tolerate the K417N/T, E484K, N501Y, and L452R immune-escape mutations found in the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Epsilon, Iota, and Delta/Kappa lineages. We also demonstrate neutralization of the Beta strain at low-picomolar VHH concentrations. We further discovered VHH antibodies that enforce native folding of the RBD in the E. coli cytosol, where its folding normally fails. Such "fold-promoting" nanobodies may allow for simplified production of vaccines and their adaptation to viral escape-mutations.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Mutation/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Domain Antibodies/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Camelids, New World/immunology , Camelids, New World/virology , Cell Line , Escherichia coli/virology , Female , Humans , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
10.
Nature ; 595(7866): 278-282, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258586

ABSTRACT

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 has caused millions of deaths worldwide. Although a number of vaccines have been deployed, the continual evolution of the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the virus has challenged their efficacy. In particular, the emerging variants B.1.1.7, B.1.351 and P.1 (first detected in the UK, South Africa and Brazil, respectively) have compromised the efficacy of sera from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 and immunotherapies that have received emergency use authorization1-3. One potential alternative to avert viral escape is the use of camelid VHHs (variable heavy chain domains of heavy chain antibody (also known as nanobodies)), which can recognize epitopes that are often inaccessible to conventional antibodies4. Here, we isolate anti-RBD nanobodies from llamas and from mice that we engineered to produce VHHs cloned from alpacas, dromedaries and Bactrian camels. We identified two groups of highly neutralizing nanobodies. Group 1 circumvents antigenic drift by recognizing an RBD region that is highly conserved in coronaviruses but rarely targeted by human antibodies. Group 2 is almost exclusively focused to the RBD-ACE2 interface and does not neutralize SARS-CoV-2 variants that carry E484K or N501Y substitutions. However, nanobodies in group 2 retain full neutralization activity against these variants when expressed as homotrimers, and-to our knowledge-rival the most potent antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 that have been produced to date. These findings suggest that multivalent nanobodies overcome SARS-CoV-2 mutations through two separate mechanisms: enhanced avidity for the ACE2-binding domain and recognition of conserved epitopes that are largely inaccessible to human antibodies. Therefore, although new SARS-CoV-2 mutants will continue to emerge, nanobodies represent promising tools to prevent COVID-19 mortality when vaccines are compromised.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Camelids, New World/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Domain Antibodies/chemistry , Single-Domain Antibodies/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing/isolation & purification , CRISPR-Cas Systems , Camelids, New World/genetics , Female , Gene Editing , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Single-Domain Antibodies/isolation & purification , Somatic Hypermutation, Immunoglobulin/genetics
11.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(5): e1009229, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1239922

ABSTRACT

While MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome Coronavirus) provokes a lethal disease in humans, camelids, the main virus reservoir, are asymptomatic carriers, suggesting a crucial role for innate immune responses in controlling the infection. Experimentally infected camelids clear infectious virus within one week and mount an effective adaptive immune response. Here, transcription of immune response genes was monitored in the respiratory tract of MERS-CoV infected alpacas. Concomitant to the peak of infection, occurring at 2 days post inoculation (dpi), type I and III interferons (IFNs) were maximally transcribed only in the nasal mucosa of alpacas, while interferon stimulated genes (ISGs) were induced along the whole respiratory tract. Simultaneous to mild focal infiltration of leukocytes in nasal mucosa and submucosa, upregulation of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL10 and dampened transcription of pro-inflammatory genes under NF-κB control were observed. In the lung, early (1 dpi) transcription of chemokines (CCL2 and CCL3) correlated with a transient accumulation of mainly mononuclear leukocytes. A tight regulation of IFNs in lungs with expression of ISGs and controlled inflammatory responses, might contribute to virus clearance without causing tissue damage. Thus, the nasal mucosa, the main target of MERS-CoV in camelids, seems central in driving an efficient innate immune response based on triggering ISGs as well as the dual anti-inflammatory effects of type III IFNs and IL10.


Subject(s)
Camelids, New World , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Interferons/metabolism , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Camelids, New World/immunology , Camelids, New World/metabolism , Camelids, New World/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Disease Reservoirs/veterinary , Disease Resistance/drug effects , Disease Resistance/genetics , Disease Resistance/immunology , Gene Expression Regulation , Immunity, Innate/physiology , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/metabolism , Inflammation/veterinary , Inflammation/virology , Interferon Type I/genetics , Interferon Type I/pharmacology , Interferons/genetics , Interferons/pharmacology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/drug effects , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , Nasal Mucosa/drug effects , Nasal Mucosa/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/metabolism , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Respiratory System/drug effects , Respiratory System/immunology , Respiratory System/metabolism , Respiratory System/virology , Vero Cells , Viral Load/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects
12.
Anal Chem ; 93(19): 7283-7291, 2021 05 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1217666

ABSTRACT

The goal of this work was to develop recombinantly expressed variable domains derived from camelid heavy-chain antibodies known as single-domain antibodies (sdAbs) directed against the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein for incorporation into detection assays. To achieve this, a llama was immunized using a recombinant SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein and an immune phage-display library of variable domains was developed. The sdAbs selected from this library segregated into five distinct sequence families. Three of these families bind to unique epitopes with high affinity, low nM to sub-nM KD, as determined by surface plasmon resonance. To further enhance the utility of these sdAbs for the detection of nucleocapsid protein, homobivalent and heterobivalent genetic fusion constructs of the three high-affinity sdAbs were prepared. The effectiveness of the sdAbs for the detection of nucleocapsid protein was evaluated using MagPlex fluid array assays, a multiplexed immunoassay on color-coded magnetic microspheres. Using the optimal bivalent pair, one immobilized on the microsphere and the other serving as the biotinylated recognition reagent, a detection limit as low as 50 pg/mL of recombinant nucleocapsid and of killed virus down to 1.28 × 103 pfu/mL was achieved. The sdAbs described here represent immune reagents that can be tailored to be optimized for a number of detection platforms and may one day aid in the detection of SARS-CoV-2 to assist in controlling the current pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Camelids, New World , Single-Domain Antibodies , Animals , Humans , Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(19)2021 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1203483

ABSTRACT

Neutralizing antibodies are important for immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and as therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Here, we identified high-affinity nanobodies from alpacas immunized with coronavirus spike and receptor-binding domains (RBD) that disrupted RBD engagement with the human receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and potently neutralized SARS-CoV-2. Epitope mapping, X-ray crystallography, and cryo-electron microscopy revealed two distinct antigenic sites and showed two neutralizing nanobodies from different epitope classes bound simultaneously to the spike trimer. Nanobody-Fc fusions of the four most potent nanobodies blocked ACE2 engagement with RBD variants present in human populations and potently neutralized both wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and the N501Y D614G variant at concentrations as low as 0.1 nM. Prophylactic administration of either single nanobody-Fc or as mixtures reduced viral loads by up to 104-fold in mice infected with the N501Y D614G SARS-CoV-2 virus. These results suggest a role for nanobody-Fc fusions as prophylactic agents against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Domain Antibodies , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , Camelids, New World , Humans , Mice , Single-Domain Antibodies/immunology , Single-Domain Antibodies/pharmacology
14.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 3318, 2021 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069119

ABSTRACT

Despite unprecedented global efforts to rapidly develop SARS-CoV-2 treatments, in order to reduce the burden placed on health systems, the situation remains critical. Effective diagnosis, treatment, and prophylactic measures are urgently required to meet global demand: recombinant antibodies fulfill these requirements and have marked clinical potential. Here, we describe the fast-tracked development of an alpaca Nanobody specific for the receptor-binding-domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein with potential therapeutic applicability. We present a rapid method for nanobody isolation that includes an optimized immunization regimen coupled with VHH library E. coli surface display, which allows single-step selection of Nanobodies using a simple density gradient centrifugation of the bacterial library. The selected single and monomeric Nanobody, W25, binds to the SARS-CoV-2 S RBD with sub-nanomolar affinity and efficiently competes with ACE-2 receptor binding. Furthermore, W25 potently neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 wild type and the D614G variant with IC50 values in the nanomolar range, demonstrating its potential as antiviral agent.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Affinity/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Domain Antibodies/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Camelids, New World/immunology , Escherichia coli/genetics , Escherichia coli/metabolism , Green Fluorescent Proteins/genetics , HeLa Cells , Humans , Immunization , Male , Neutralization Tests , Peptide Library , Protein Binding/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Transfection
16.
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 22370, 2020 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-997940

ABSTRACT

There are currently few approved effective treatments for SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. Nanobodies are 12-15 kDa single-domain antibody fragments that can be delivered by inhalation and are amenable to relatively inexpensive large scale production compared to other biologicals. We have isolated nanobodies that bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor binding domain and block spike protein interaction with the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) with 1-5 nM affinity. The lead nanobody candidate, NIH-CoVnb-112, blocks SARS-CoV-2 spike pseudotyped lentivirus infection of HEK293 cells expressing human ACE2 with an EC50 of 0.3 µg/mL. NIH-CoVnb-112 retains structural integrity and potency after nebulization. Furthermore, NIH-CoVnb-112 blocks interaction between ACE2 and several high affinity variant forms of the spike protein. These nanobodies and their derivatives have therapeutic, preventative, and diagnostic potential.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Affinity , COVID-19/metabolism , Drug Discovery/methods , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Single-Domain Antibodies/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Binding Sites, Antibody/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Camelids, New World , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunization/methods , Male , Protein Binding , Signal Transduction/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Transduction, Genetic , Transfection
17.
Virol Sin ; 35(3): 290-304, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-959360

ABSTRACT

The recent outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has already affected a large population of the world. SARS-CoV-2 belongs to the same family of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). COVID-19 has a complex pathology involving severe acute respiratory infection, hyper-immune response, and coagulopathy. At present, there is no therapeutic drug or vaccine approved for the disease. There is an urgent need for an ideal animal model that can reflect clinical symptoms and underlying etiopathogenesis similar to COVID-19 patients which can be further used for evaluation of underlying mechanisms, potential vaccines, and therapeutic strategies. The current review provides a paramount insight into the available animal models of SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV for the management of the diseases.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS Virus , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology , Animals , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Camelids, New World , Camelus , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Mice , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/pathogenicity , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , SARS Virus/pathogenicity , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/physiopathology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/therapy , Swine
18.
Science ; 370(6523): 1479-1484, 2020 12 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-913671

ABSTRACT

Cost-effective, efficacious therapeutics are urgently needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. In this study, we used camelid immunization and proteomics to identify a large repertoire of highly potent neutralizing nanobodies (Nbs) to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD). We discovered Nbs with picomolar to femtomolar affinities that inhibit viral infection at concentrations below the nanograms-per-milliliter level, and we determined a structure of one of the most potent Nbs in complex with the RBD. Structural proteomics and integrative modeling revealed multiple distinct and nonoverlapping epitopes and indicated an array of potential neutralization mechanisms. We bioengineered multivalent Nb constructs that achieved ultrahigh neutralization potency (half-maximal inhibitory concentration as low as 0.058 ng/ml) and may prevent mutational escape. These thermostable Nbs can be rapidly produced in bulk from microbes and resist lyophilization and aerosolization.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Domain Antibodies/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Antibody Affinity , COVID-19/therapy , Camelids, New World , Escherichia coli , Humans , Neutralization Tests , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Single-Domain Antibodies/chemistry , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics
19.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 4420, 2020 09 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-744371

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 enters host cells through an interaction between the spike glycoprotein and the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. Directly preventing this interaction presents an attractive possibility for suppressing SARS-CoV-2 replication. Here, we report the isolation and characterization of an alpaca-derived single domain antibody fragment, Ty1, that specifically targets the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike, directly preventing ACE2 engagement. Ty1 binds the RBD with high affinity, occluding ACE2. A cryo-electron microscopy structure of the bound complex at 2.9 Å resolution reveals that Ty1 binds to an epitope on the RBD accessible in both the 'up' and 'down' conformations, sterically hindering RBD-ACE2 binding. While fusion to an Fc domain renders Ty1 extremely potent, Ty1 neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 spike pseudovirus as a 12.8 kDa nanobody, which can be expressed in high quantities in bacteria, presenting opportunities for manufacturing at scale. Ty1 is therefore an excellent candidate as an intervention against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Camelids, New World/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Single-Domain Antibodies/pharmacology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Amino Acid Sequence , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Binding Sites , COVID-19 , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Epitopes/immunology , Epitopes/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Male , Models, Molecular , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Single-Domain Antibodies/immunology , Single-Domain Antibodies/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vero Cells
20.
Open Vet J ; 10(2): 164-177, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-724486

ABSTRACT

Viruses are having great time as they seem to have bogged humans down. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are the three major coronaviruses of present-day global human and animal health concern. COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 is identified as the newest disease, presumably of bat origin. Different theories on the evolution of viruses are in circulation, yet there is no denying the fact that the animal source is the skeleton. The whole world is witnessing the terror of the COVID-19 pandemic that is following the same path of SARS and MERS, and seems to be more severe. In addition to humans, several species of animals are reported to have been infected with these life-threatening viruses. The possible routes of transmission and their zoonotic potentialities are the subjects of intense research. This review article aims to overview the link of all these three deadly coronaviruses among animals along with their phylogenic evolution and cross-species transmission. This is essential since animals as pets or food are said to pose some risk, and their better understanding is a must in order to prepare a possible plan for future havoc in both human and animal health. Although COVID-19 is causing a human health hazard globally, its reporting in animals are limited compared to SARS and MERS. Non-human primates and carnivores are most susceptible to SARS-coronavirus and SARS-CoV-2, respectively, whereas the dromedary camel is susceptible to MERS-coronavirus. Phylogenetically, the trio viruses are reported to have originated from bats and have special capacity to undergo mutation and genomic recombination in order to infect humans through its reservoir or replication host. However, it is difficult to analyze how the genomic pattern of coronaviruses occurs. Thus, increased possibility of new virus-variants infecting humans and animals in the upcoming days seems to be the biggest challenge for the future of the world. One health approach is portrayed as our best way ahead, and understanding the animal dimension will go a long way in formulating such preparedness plans.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/classification , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/classification , Pandemics/veterinary , Pneumonia, Viral/veterinary , SARS Virus/classification , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/veterinary , Animals , Animals, Wild , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , Camelids, New World/virology , Camelus/virology , Cats , Chiroptera/virology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disease Susceptibility/veterinary , Dogs , Eutheria/virology , Ferrets/virology , Humans , Lions/virology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Phylogeny , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Primates/virology , Raccoon Dogs/virology , SARS Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/transmission , Snakes/virology , Tigers/virology , Viverridae/virology
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