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1.
Nat Immunol ; 23(3): 423-430, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1713201

ABSTRACT

The global severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic requires effective therapies against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and neutralizing antibodies are a promising therapy. A noncompeting pair of human neutralizing antibodies (B38 and H4) blocking SARS-CoV-2 binding to its receptor, ACE2, have been described previously. Here, we develop bsAb15, a bispecific monoclonal antibody (bsAb) based on B38 and H4. bsAb15 has greater neutralizing efficiency than these parental antibodies, results in less selective pressure and retains neutralizing ability to most SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (with more potent neutralizing activity against the Delta variant). We also selected for escape mutants of the two parental mAbs, a mAb cocktail and bsAb15, demonstrating that bsAb15 can efficiently neutralize all single-mAb escape mutants. Furthermore, prophylactic and therapeutic application of bsAb15 reduced the viral titer in infected nonhuman primates and human ACE2 transgenic mice. Therefore, this bsAb is a feasible and effective strategy to treat and prevent severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Bispecific/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Bispecific/chemistry , Antibodies, Bispecific/genetics , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Monoclonal/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Cloning, Molecular , Disease Models, Animal , Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic , Epitopes , Humans , Macaca mulatta , Mice , Neutralization Tests , Protein Engineering/methods , Structure-Activity Relationship
2.
J Clin Invest ; 132(4)2022 Feb 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1705312

ABSTRACT

Many SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) lose potency against variants of concern. In this study, we developed 2 strategies to produce mutation-resistant antibodies. First, a yeast library expressing mutant receptor binding domains (RBDs) of the spike protein was utilized to screen for potent nAbs that are least susceptible to viral escape. Among the candidate antibodies, P5-22 displayed ultrahigh potency for virus neutralization as well as an outstanding mutation resistance profile. Additionally, P14-44 and P15-16 were recognized as mutation-resistant antibodies with broad betacoronavirus neutralization properties. P15-16 has only 1 binding hotspot, which is K378 in the RBD of SARS-CoV-2. The crystal structure of the P5-22, P14-44, and RBD ternary complex clarified the unique mechanisms that underlie the excellent mutation resistance profiles of these antibodies. Secondly, polymeric IgG enhanced antibody avidity by eliminating P5-22's only hotspot, residue F486 in the RBD, thereby potently blocking cell entry by mutant viruses. Structural and functional analyses of antibodies screened using both potency assays and the yeast RBD library revealed rare, ultrapotent, mutation-resistant nAbs against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Antibody Affinity , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Binding Sites/genetics , Binding Sites/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/blood , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/genetics , COVID-19/therapy , Cloning, Molecular , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , In Vitro Techniques , Lung/virology , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , Receptors, Virus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
3.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(8)2022 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671749

ABSTRACT

Type I interferons (IFN-I) exert pleiotropic biological effects during viral infections, balancing virus control versus immune-mediated pathologies, and have been successfully employed for the treatment of viral diseases. Humans express 12 IFN-alpha (α) subtypes, which activate downstream signaling cascades and result in distinct patterns of immune responses and differential antiviral responses. Inborn errors in IFN-I immunity and the presence of anti-IFN autoantibodies account for very severe courses of COVID-19; therefore, early administration of IFN-I may be protective against life-threatening disease. Here we comprehensively analyzed the antiviral activity of all IFNα subtypes against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to identify the underlying immune signatures and explore their therapeutic potential. Prophylaxis of primary human airway epithelial cells (hAEC) with different IFNα subtypes during SARS-CoV-2 infection uncovered distinct functional classes with high, intermediate, and low antiviral IFNs. In particular, IFNα5 showed superior antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro and in SARS-CoV-2-infected mice in vivo. Dose dependency studies further displayed additive effects upon coadministration with the broad antiviral drug remdesivir in cell culture. Transcriptomic analysis of IFN-treated hAEC revealed different transcriptional signatures, uncovering distinct, intersecting, and prototypical genes of individual IFNα subtypes. Global proteomic analyses systematically assessed the abundance of specific antiviral key effector molecules which are involved in IFN-I signaling pathways, negative regulation of viral processes, and immune effector processes for the potent antiviral IFNα5. Taken together, our data provide a systemic, multimodular definition of antiviral host responses mediated by defined IFN-I. This knowledge will support the development of novel therapeutic approaches against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Interferon-alpha/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Transcriptome , Virus Replication/drug effects , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cloning, Molecular , Disease Models, Animal , Escherichia coli/genetics , Escherichia coli/metabolism , Gene Expression Profiling , Gene Expression Regulation , Genetic Vectors/chemistry , Genetic Vectors/metabolism , Humans , Interferon-alpha/genetics , Interferon-alpha/immunology , Mice , Protein Isoforms/classification , Protein Isoforms/genetics , Protein Isoforms/immunology , Protein Isoforms/pharmacology , Recombinant Proteins/classification , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Signal Transduction , Vero Cells
4.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(3)2022 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1667197

ABSTRACT

An Escherichia coli (E. coli) production of the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 (isolate Wuhan-Hu-1) spike protein would significantly accelerate the search for anti-COVID-19 therapeutics because of its versatility and low cost. However, RBD contains four disulfide bonds and its expression in E. coli is limited by the formation of aberrant disulfide bonds resulting in inclusion bodies. Here, we show that a solubility-enhancing peptide (SEP) tag containing nine arginine residues (RBD-C9R) attached at the C-terminus can overcome this problem. The SEP-tag increased the expression in the soluble fraction and the final yield by five times (2 mg/L). The folding properties of the E. coli expressed RBD-C9R were demonstrated with biophysical characterization using RP-HPLC, circular dichroism, thermal denaturation, fluorescence, and light scattering. A quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) analysis confirmed the binding activity of RBD-C9R with ACE2, the host cell's receptor. In addition, RBD-C9R elicited a Th-2 immune response with a high IgG titer in Jcl: ICR mice. The RBD-C9R antisera interacted with both itself and the mammalian-cell expressed spike protein (S1), as demonstrated by ELISA, indicating that the E. coli expressed RBD-C9R harbors native-like epitopes. Overall, these results emphasize the potential of our SEP-tag for the E. coli production of active multi-disulfide-bonded RBD.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Escherichia coli/growth & development , Peptides/administration & dosage , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Cloning, Molecular , Disulfides/metabolism , Escherichia coli/genetics , Female , Humans , Immune Sera/metabolism , Immunization , Mice , Mice, Inbred ICR , Peptides/genetics , Peptides/immunology , Protein Domains , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Th2 Cells/metabolism
5.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 6855, 2021 11 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1537312

ABSTRACT

The bat sarbecovirus RaTG13 is a close relative of SARS-CoV-2, the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this bat virus was most likely unable to directly infect humans since its Spike (S) protein does not interact efficiently with the human ACE2 receptor. Here, we show that a single T403R mutation increases binding of RaTG13 S to human ACE2 and allows VSV pseudoparticle infection of human lung cells and intestinal organoids. Conversely, mutation of R403T in the SARS-CoV-2 S reduces pseudoparticle infection and viral replication. The T403R RaTG13 S is neutralized by sera from individuals vaccinated against COVID-19 indicating that vaccination might protect against future zoonoses. Our data suggest that a positively charged amino acid at position 403 in the S protein is critical for efficient utilization of human ACE2 by S proteins of bat coronaviruses. This finding could help to better predict the zoonotic potential of animal coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Caco-2 Cells , Cloning, Molecular , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Replicon , Species Specificity , Stem Cells , Zoonoses
6.
J Virol ; 96(3): e0156121, 2022 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1529876

ABSTRACT

Historically part of the coronavirus (CoV) family, torovirus (ToV) was recently classified in the new family Tobaniviridae. While reverse genetics systems have been established for various CoVs, none exist for ToVs. Here, we developed a reverse genetics system using an infectious full-length cDNA clone of bovine ToV (BToV) in a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC). Recombinant BToV harboring genetic markers had the same phenotype as wild-type (wt) BToV. To generate two types of recombinant virus, the hemagglutinin-esterase (HE) gene was edited, as cell-adapted wtBToV generally loses full-length HE (HEf), resulting in soluble HE (HEs). First, recombinant viruses with HEf and hemagglutinin (HA)-tagged HEf or HEs genes were rescued. These exhibited no significant differences in their effect on virus growth in HRT18 cells, suggesting that HE is not essential for viral replication in these cells. Thereafter, we generated a recombinant virus (rEGFP) wherein HE was replaced by the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) gene. rEGFP expressed EGFP in infected cells but showed significantly lower levels of viral growth than wtBToV. Moreover, rEGFP readily deleted the EGFP gene after one passage. Interestingly, rEGFP variants with two mutations (C1442F and I3562T) in nonstructural proteins (NSPs) that emerged during passage exhibited improved EGFP expression, EGFP gene retention, and viral replication. An rEGFP into which both mutations were introduced displayed a phenotype similar to that of these variants, suggesting that the mutations contributed to EGFP gene acceptance. The current findings provide new insights into BToV, and reverse genetics will help advance the current understanding of this neglected pathogen. IMPORTANCE ToVs are diarrhea-causing pathogens detected in various species, including humans. Through the development of a BAC-based BToV, we introduced the first reverse genetics system for Tobaniviridae. Utilizing this system, recombinant BToVs with a full-length HE gene were generated. Remarkably, although clinical BToVs generally lose the HE gene after a few passages, some recombinant viruses generated in the current study retained the HE gene for up to 20 passages while accumulating mutations in NSPs, which suggested that these mutations may be involved in HE gene retention. The EGFP gene of recombinant viruses was unstable, but rEGFP into which two NSP mutations were introduced exhibited improved EGFP expression, gene retention, and viral replication. These data suggested the existence of an NSP-based acceptance or retention mechanism for exogenous RNA or HE genes. Recombinant BToVs and reverse genetics are powerful tools for understanding fundamental viral processes, pathogenesis, and BToV vaccine development.


Subject(s)
DNA, Complementary , Genome, Viral , Reverse Genetics , Torovirus/genetics , Animals , Cattle , Cattle Diseases/virology , Cell Line , Cells, Cultured , Chromosomes, Artificial, Bacterial , Cloning, Molecular , Genes, Reporter , Hemagglutinins, Viral/genetics , Hemagglutinins, Viral/metabolism , Mutation , Plasmids/genetics , Torovirus/isolation & purification , Torovirus Infections , Transfection
7.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0257089, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523422

ABSTRACT

Recombinant production of viral proteins can be used to produce vaccine antigens or reagents to identify antibodies in patient serum. Minimally, these proteins must be correctly folded and have appropriate post-translation modifications. Here we report the production of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) in the green algae Chlamydomonas. RBD fused to a fluorescent reporter protein accumulates as an intact protein when targeted for ER-Golgi retention or secreted from the cell, while a chloroplast localized version is truncated. The ER-retained RBD fusion protein was able to bind the human ACE2 receptor, the host target of SARS-CoV-2, and was specifically out-competed by mammalian cell-produced recombinant RBD, suggesting that the algae produced proteins are sufficiently post-translationally modified to act as authentic SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Because algae can be grown at large scale very inexpensively, this recombinant protein may be a low cost alternative to other expression platforms.


Subject(s)
Chlamydomonas reinhardtii , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Recombinant Proteins , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Chlamydomonas reinhardtii/genetics , Chlamydomonas reinhardtii/metabolism , Cloning, Molecular , Humans , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/genetics , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification
8.
Bull Exp Biol Med ; 172(1): 53-56, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1520385

ABSTRACT

The antiviral activity of recombinant human IFN-lambda type 1 (IFNλ-1) against culture strain of SARS-CoV-2 virus was determined by infecting a highly sensitive VeroE6 coronavirus cell culture after preincubation test (the cell monolayer was incubated with 4-fold dilutions of IFNλ-1 in a concentration range of 0.16-42,500 ng/ml in a culture medium for 12 h at 37°C) and without preincubation (simultaneous addition of different concentrations of IFNλ-1 and SARS-CoV-2 infection in a dose of 102 TCID50). The created recombinant human IFNλ-1 demonstrated obvious antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 virus in vitro. In the tests with and without preincubation, IFNλ-1 exhibited significant activity, although somewhat lower in variant with simultaneous addition of IFNλ-1 and virus to the cell culture. It should be noted that the antiviral effect of IFNλ-1 was observed in a wide range of concentrations.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Interferons/pharmacology , Recombinant Proteins/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Load/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/isolation & purification , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cloning, Molecular , Escherichia coli/genetics , Escherichia coli/metabolism , Gene Expression , Humans , Interferons/biosynthesis , Interferons/isolation & purification , Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Vero Cells , Viral Load/genetics
9.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(19)2021 Sep 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438627

ABSTRACT

The ongoing pandemic coronavirus (CoV) disease 2019 (COVID-19) by severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has already caused substantial morbidity, mortality, and economic devastation. Reverse genetic approaches to generate recombinant viruses are a powerful tool to characterize and understand newly emerging viruses. To contribute to the global efforts for countermeasures to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2, we developed a passage-free SARS-CoV-2 clone based on a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC). Moreover, using a Lambda-based Red recombination, we successfully generated different reporter and marker viruses, which replicated similar to a clinical isolate in a cell culture. Moreover, we designed a full-length reporter virus encoding an additional artificial open reading frame with wild-type-like replication features. The virus-encoded reporters were successfully applied to ease antiviral testing in cell culture models. Furthermore, we designed a new marker virus encoding 3xFLAG-tagged nucleocapsid that allows the detection of incoming viral particles and, in combination with bio-orthogonal labeling for the visualization of viral RNA synthesis via click chemistry, the spatiotemporal tracking of viral replication on the single-cell level. In summary, by applying BAC-based Red recombination, we developed a powerful, reliable, and convenient platform that will facilitate studies answering numerous questions concerning the biology of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Cloning, Molecular/methods , Genome, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mutagenesis , Plasmids/genetics , Recombination, Genetic , Vero Cells
10.
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
11.
Nat Rev Genet ; 21(7): 388, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1383106
12.
Comput Biol Med ; 133: 104420, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385348

ABSTRACT

Reports of the novel and more contagious strains of SARS-CoV-2 originating in different countries have further aggravated the pandemic situation. The recent substitutions in spike protein may be critical for the virus to evade the host's immune system and therapeutics that have already been developed. Thus, this study has employed an immunoinformatics pipeline to target the spike protein of this novel strain to construct an immunogenic epitope (CTL, HTL, and B cell) vaccine against the new variant. Our investigation revealed that 12 different epitopes imparted a critical role in immune response induction. This was validated by an exploration of physiochemical properties and experimental feasibility. In silico and host immune simulation confirmed the expression and induction of both primary and secondary immune factors such as IL, cytokines, and antibodies. The current study warrants further lab experiments to demonstrate its efficacy and safety.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Cloning, Molecular , Computer Simulation , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte , Humans , Immunity , Molecular Docking Simulation , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccines, Subunit
13.
Methods Mol Biol ; 2305: 129-140, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1355903

ABSTRACT

The expression of mammalian recombinant proteins in insect cell lines using transient-plasmid-based gene expression enables the production of high-quality protein samples. Here, the procedure for virus-free transient gene expression (TGE) in High Five insect cells is described in detail. The parameters that determine the efficiency and reproducibility of the method are presented in a robust protocol for easy implementation and set-up of the method. The applicability of the TGE method in High Five cells for proteomic, structural, and functional analysis of the expressed proteins is shown.


Subject(s)
Biotechnology/methods , Cloning, Molecular , Insecta/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/biosynthesis , Transfection/methods , Animals , Bioreactors , Cell Culture Techniques/methods , Cell Line , Gene Expression , Glycosylation , Humans , Insecta/cytology , Mammals/genetics , Mammals/metabolism , Plasmids , Proteomics , Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
14.
J Nutr Biochem ; 98: 108821, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1309296

ABSTRACT

Membrane glycoprotein is the most abundant protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), but its role in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has not been fully characterized. Mice intranasally inoculated with membrane glycoprotein substantially increased the interleukin (IL)-6, a hallmark of the cytokine storm, in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), compared to mice inoculated with green fluorescent protein (GFP). The high level of IL-6 induced by membrane glycoprotein was significantly diminished in phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4B) knockout mice, demonstrating the essential role of PDE4B in IL-6 signaling. Mycelium fermentation of Lactobacillus rhamnosus (L. rhamnosus) EH8 strain yielded butyric acid, which can down-regulate the PDE4B expression and IL-6 secretion in macrophages. Feeding mice with mycelia increased the relative abundance of commensal L. rhamnosus. Two-week supplementation of mice with L. rhamnosus plus mycelia considerably decreased membrane glycoprotein-induced PDE4B expression and IL-6 secretion. The probiotic activity of L. rhamnosus plus mycelia against membrane glycoprotein was abolished in mice treated with GLPG-0974, an antagonist of free fatty acid receptor 2 (Ffar2). Activation of Ffar2 in the gut-lung axis for down-regulation of the PDE4B-IL-6 signalling may provide targets for development of modalities including probiotics for treatment of the cytokine storm in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus M Proteins/pharmacology , Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases, Type 4/metabolism , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Lactobacillus rhamnosus/physiology , Probiotics/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Animals , Butyric Acid , Cell Line , Cloning, Molecular , Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases, Type 4/genetics , Female , Fermentation , Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects , Humans , Interleukin-6/genetics , Mice , Mice, Inbred ICR , Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled/metabolism
15.
Viruses ; 13(6)2021 06 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1282643

ABSTRACT

Proteolytic enzymes have great significance in medicine and the pharmaceutical industry and are applied in multiple fields of life sciences. Therefore, cost-efficient, reliable and sensitive real-time monitoring methods are highly desirable to measure protease activity. In this paper, we describe the development of a new experimental approach for investigation of proteolytic enzymes. The method was designed by the combination of recombinant fusion protein substrates and bio-layer interferometry (BLI). The protease (PR) of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) was applied as model enzyme to set up and test the method. The principle of the assay is that the recombinant protein substrates immobilized to the surface of biosensor are specifically cleaved by the PR, and the substrate processing can be followed by measuring change in the layer thickness by optical measurement. We successfully used this method to detect the HIV-1 PR activity in real time, and the initial rate of the signal decrease was found to be proportional to the enzyme activity. Substrates representing wild-type and modified cleavage sites were designed to study HIV-1 PR's specificity, and the BLI-based measurements showed differential cleavage efficiency of the substrates, which was proven by enzyme kinetic measurements. We applied this BLI-based assay to experimentally confirm the existence of extended binding sites at the surface of HIV-1 PR. We found the measurements may be performed using lysates of cells expressing the fusion protein, without primary purification of the substrate. The designed BLI-based protease assay is high-throughput-compatible and enables real-time and small-volume measurements, thus providing a new and versatile approach to study proteolytic enzymes.


Subject(s)
Enzyme Assays/methods , HIV Protease/metabolism , HIV-1/enzymology , Interferometry/methods , Biosensing Techniques , Cloning, Molecular , HIV Protease/genetics , HIV Protease/isolation & purification , Humans , Kinetics , Proteolysis , Recombinant Proteins , Sequence Analysis, DNA , Substrate Specificity
16.
Structure ; 29(7): 655-663.e4, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1263379

ABSTRACT

Emerging SARS-CoV-2 strains, B.1.1.7 and B.1.351, from the UK and South Africa, respectively, show decreased neutralization by monoclonal antibodies and convalescent or vaccinee sera raised against the original wild-type virus, and are thus of clinical concern. However, the neutralization potency of two antibodies, 1-57 and 2-7, which target the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike, was unaffected by these emerging strains. Here, we report cryo-EM structures of 1-57 and 2-7 in complex with spike, revealing each of these antibodies to utilize a distinct mechanism to bypass or accommodate RBD mutations. Notably, each antibody represented an immune response with recognition distinct from those of frequent antibody classes. Moreover, many epitope residues recognized by 1-57 and 2-7 were outside hotspots of evolutionary pressure for ACE2 binding and neutralizing antibody escape. We suggest the therapeutic use of antibodies, such as 1-57 and 2-7, which target less prevalent epitopes, could ameliorate issues of monoclonal antibody escape.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal/genetics , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Binding Sites , Cloning, Molecular , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , Epitopes/metabolism , Gene Expression , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/immunology , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
17.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 3287, 2021 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1253936

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 nsp16/nsp10 enzyme complex modifies the 2'-OH of the first transcribed nucleotide of the viral mRNA by covalently attaching a methyl group to it. The 2'-O methylation of the first nucleotide converts the status of mRNA cap from Cap-0 to Cap-1, and thus, helps the virus evade immune surveillance in host cells. Here, we report two structures of nsp16/nsp10 representing pre- and post-release states of the RNA product (Cap-1). We observe overall widening of the enzyme upon product formation, and an inward twisting motion in the substrate binding region upon product release. These conformational changes reset the enzyme for the next round of catalysis. The structures also identify a unique binding mode and the importance of a divalent metal ion for 2'-O methylation. We also describe underlying structural basis for the perturbed enzymatic activity of a clinical variant of SARS-CoV-2, and a previous SARS-CoV outbreak strain.


Subject(s)
Magnesium/chemistry , RNA Caps/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , Binding Sites , Biocatalysis , Cloning, Molecular , Crystallography, X-Ray , Escherichia coli/genetics , Escherichia coli/metabolism , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral , Humans , Magnesium/metabolism , Methylation , Methyltransferases , Models, Molecular , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , RNA Caps/chemistry , RNA Caps/genetics , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , S-Adenosylmethionine/chemistry , S-Adenosylmethionine/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/ultrastructure , Sequence Alignment , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Substrate Specificity , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/chemistry , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/genetics
18.
Stem Cell Res Ther ; 12(1): 283, 2021 05 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225784

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The global health emergency of COVID-19 has necessitated the development of multiple therapeutic modalities including vaccinations, antivirals, anti-inflammatory, and cytoimmunotherapies, etc. COVID-19 patients suffer from damage to various organs and vascular structures, so they present multiple health crises. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are of interest to treat acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection. MAIN BODY: Stem cell-based therapies have been verified for prospective benefits in copious preclinical and clinical studies. MSCs confer potential benefits to develop various cell types and organoids for studying virus-human interaction, drug testing, regenerative medicine, and immunomodulatory effects in COVID-19 patients. Apart from paving the ways to augment stem cell research and therapies, somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) holds unique ability for a wide range of health applications such as patient-specific or isogenic cells for regenerative medicine and breeding transgenic animals for biomedical applications. Being a potent cell genome-reprogramming tool, the SCNT has increased prominence of recombinant therapeutics and cellular medicine in the current era of COVID-19. As SCNT is used to generate patient-specific stem cells, it avoids dependence on embryos to obtain stem cells. CONCLUSIONS: The nuclear transfer cloning, being an ideal tool to generate cloned embryos, and the embryonic stem cells will boost drug testing and cellular medicine in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Animals , Cloning, Molecular , Cloning, Organism , Embryonic Stem Cells , Humans , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Nat Methods ; 18(5): 499-506, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1220210

ABSTRACT

Competitive coevolution between microbes and viruses has led to the diversification of CRISPR-Cas defense systems against infectious agents. By analyzing metagenomic terabase datasets, we identified two compact families (775 to 803 amino acids (aa)) of CRISPR-Cas ribonucleases from hypersaline samples, named Cas13X and Cas13Y. We engineered Cas13X.1 (775 aa) for RNA interference experiments in mammalian cell lines. We found Cas13X.1 could tolerate single-nucleotide mismatches in RNA recognition, facilitating prophylactic RNA virus inhibition. Moreover, a minimal RNA base editor, composed of engineered deaminase (385 aa) and truncated Cas13X.1 (445 aa), exhibited robust editing efficiency and high specificity to induce RNA base conversions. Our results suggest that there exist untapped bacterial defense systems in natural microbes that can function efficiently in mammalian cells, and thus potentially are useful for RNA-editing-based research.


Subject(s)
CRISPR-Cas Systems , RNA Editing , RNA, Bacterial , Animals , Bacterial Proteins , Cell Line , Cloning, Molecular , Databases, Nucleic Acid , Dogs , Humans , Mice , RNA Interference
20.
Future Microbiol ; 16: 487-507, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1219499

ABSTRACT

Aim: The confirmation of lipolytic activity and role of Rv1900c in the Mycobacterium physiology Methods: rv1900c/N-terminus domain (rv1900NT) were cloned in pET28a/Escherichia coli, purified by affinity chromatography and characterized. Results: A zone of clearance on tributyrin-agar and activity with pNP-decanoate confirmed the lipolytic activity of Rv1900c. The Rv1900NT demonstrated higher enzyme specific activity, Vmax and kcat, but Rv1900c was more thermostable. The lipolytic activity of Rv1900c decreased in presence of ATP. Mycobacterium smegmatis expressed rv1900c/rv1900NT-altered colony morphology, growth, cell surface properties and survival under stress conditions. The effect was more prominent with Rv1900NT as compared with Rv1900c. Conclusion: The study confirmed the lipolytic activity of Rv1900c and suggested its regulation by the adenylate cyclase domain and role in the intracellular survival of bacteria.


Lay abstract Tuberculosis (TB) remains the top contagious/infectious killer in the world. It is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria resides/replicates in the immune cell that normally has to eradicate infectious microorganisms. Though the treatment of TB is available, the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria is of major concern. The treatment of drug-resistant TB has been reported to be more difficult due to lengthy and complex treatment regimens. Therefore, there is an urgent need for new and better drugs to treat TB/drug-resistant TB. For this purpose understanding the role of each protein in the physiology of mycobacteria is required. Lipids play a critical role in the intracellular survival of this pathogen in the host. Our study demonstrated that LipJ supported the intracellular survival of bacteria. Therefore, it could be a potential drug target.


Subject(s)
Adenylyl Cyclases/metabolism , Bacterial Proteins/metabolism , Lipase/metabolism , Adenosine Triphosphate/metabolism , Adenylyl Cyclases/chemistry , Adenylyl Cyclases/genetics , Adenylyl Cyclases/isolation & purification , Amino Acid Sequence , Bacterial Proteins/chemistry , Bacterial Proteins/genetics , Bacterial Proteins/isolation & purification , Biofilms/growth & development , Catalytic Domain , Cell Wall/physiology , Cloning, Molecular , Enzyme Stability , Hydrogen-Ion Concentration , Lipase/chemistry , Lipase/genetics , Lipase/isolation & purification , Lipolysis , Mycobacterium smegmatis/genetics , Mycobacterium smegmatis/physiology , Mycobacterium tuberculosis/enzymology , Mycobacterium tuberculosis/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , Stress, Physiological , Temperature
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