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1.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 120(24): e2216612120, 2023 06 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239834

ABSTRACT

Nanobodies bind a target antigen with a kinetic profile similar to a conventional antibody, but exist as a single heavy chain domain that can be readily multimerized to engage antigen via multiple interactions. Presently, most nanobodies are produced by immunizing camelids; however, platforms for animal-free production are growing in popularity. Here, we describe the development of a fully synthetic nanobody library based on an engineered human VH3-23 variable gene and a multispecific antibody-like format designed for biparatopic target engagement. To validate our library, we selected nanobodies against the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain and employed an on-yeast epitope binning strategy to rapidly map the specificities of the selected nanobodies. We then generated antibody-like molecules by replacing the VH and VL domains of a conventional antibody with two different nanobodies, designed as a molecular clamp to engage the receptor-binding domain biparatopically. The resulting bispecific tetra-nanobody immunoglobulins neutralized diverse SARS-CoV-2 variants with potencies similar to antibodies isolated from convalescent donors. Subsequent biochemical analyses confirmed the accuracy of the on-yeast epitope binning and structures of both individual nanobodies, and a tetra-nanobody immunoglobulin revealed that the intended mode of interaction had been achieved. This overall workflow is applicable to nearly any protein target and provides a blueprint for a modular workflow for the development of multispecific molecules.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Single-Domain Antibodies , Humans , Single-Domain Antibodies/chemistry , Saccharomyces cerevisiae/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies , Epitopes
2.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 120(23): e2220948120, 2023 06 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20236312

ABSTRACT

The antiviral benefit of antibodies can be compromised by viral escape especially for rapidly evolving viruses. Therefore, durable, effective antibodies must be both broad and potent to counter newly emerging, diverse strains. Discovery of such antibodies is critically important for SARS-CoV-2 as the global emergence of new variants of concern (VOC) has compromised the efficacy of therapeutic antibodies and vaccines. We describe a collection of broad and potent neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) isolated from an individual who experienced a breakthrough infection with the Delta VOC. Four mAbs potently neutralize the Wuhan-Hu-1 vaccine strain, the Delta VOC, and also retain potency against the Omicron VOCs through BA.4/BA.5 in both pseudovirus-based and authentic virus assays. Three mAbs also retain potency to recently circulating VOCs XBB.1.5 and BQ.1.1 and one also potently neutralizes SARS-CoV-1. The potency of these mAbs was greater against Omicron VOCs than all but one of the mAbs that had been approved for therapeutic applications. The mAbs target distinct epitopes on the spike glycoprotein, three in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) and one in an invariant region downstream of the RBD in subdomain 1 (SD1). The escape pathways we defined at single amino acid resolution with deep mutational scanning show they target conserved, functionally constrained regions of the glycoprotein, suggesting escape could incur a fitness cost. Overall, these mAbs are unique in their breadth across VOCs, their epitope specificity, and include a highly potent mAb targeting a rare epitope outside of the RBD in SD1.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Breakthrough Infections , Antibodies, Monoclonal , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Epitopes , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Antibodies, Viral
3.
Nat Commun ; 14(1): 2962, 2023 05 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20243557

ABSTRACT

Herd immunity achieved through mass vaccination is an effective approach to prevent contagious diseases. Nonetheless, emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants with frequent mutations largely evaded humoral immunity induced by Spike-based COVID-19 vaccines. Herein, we develop a lipid nanoparticle (LNP)-formulated mRNA-based T-cell-inducing antigen, which targeted three SARS-CoV-2 proteome regions that enriched human HLA-I epitopes (HLA-EPs). Immunization of HLA-EPs induces potent cellular responses to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection in humanized HLA-A*02:01/DR1 and HLA-A*11:01/DR1 transgenic mice. Of note, the sequences of HLA-EPs are highly conserved among SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. In humanized HLA-transgenic mice and female rhesus macaques, dual immunization with the LNP-formulated mRNAs encoding HLA-EPs and the receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.351 variant (RBDbeta) is more efficacious in preventing infection of SARS-CoV-2 Beta and Omicron BA.1 variants than single immunization of LNP-RBDbeta. This study demonstrates the necessity to strengthen the vaccine effectiveness by comprehensively stimulating both humoral and cellular responses, thereby offering insight for optimizing the design of COVID-19 vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Mice , Female , Humans , COVID-19 Vaccines , Macaca mulatta , Epitopes , Antibodies , Mice, Transgenic , T-Lymphocytes , HLA-A Antigens
4.
Front Immunol ; 14: 1162342, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20235328

ABSTRACT

Monoclonal antibodies (mABs) are safe and effective proteins produced in laboratory that may be used to target a single epitope of a highly conserved protein of a virus or a bacterial pathogen. For this purpose, the epitope is selected among those that play the major role as targets for prevention of infection or tissue damage. In this paper, characteristics of the most important mABs that have been licensed and used or are in advanced stages of development for use in prophylaxis and therapy of infectious diseases are discussed. We showed that a great number of mABs effective against virus or bacterial infections have been developed, although only in a small number of cases these are licensed for use in clinical practice and have reached the market. Although some examples of therapeutic efficacy have been shown, not unlike more traditional antiviral or antibacterial treatments, their efficacy is significantly greater in prophylaxis or early post-exposure treatment. Although in many cases the use of vaccines is more effective and cost-effective than that of mABs, for many infectious diseases no vaccines have yet been developed and licensed. Furthermore, in emergency situations, like in epidemics or pandemics, the availability of mABs can be an attractive adjunct to our armament to reduce the impact. Finally, the availability of mABs against bacteria can be an important alternative, when multidrug-resistant strains are involved.


Subject(s)
Bacterial Infections , COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , Rabies Vaccines , Rabies , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , Humans , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , HIV , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , Epitopes , Bacterial Infections/drug therapy , Communicable Diseases/drug therapy
5.
Commun Biol ; 6(1): 528, 2023 05 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2322455

ABSTRACT

The discovery and characterization of antigen-specific CD8+ T cell clonotypes typically involves the labor-intensive synthesis and construction of peptide-MHC tetramers. We adapt single-chain trimer (SCT) technologies into a high throughput platform for pMHC library generation, showing that hundreds can be rapidly prepared across multiple Class I HLA alleles. We use this platform to explore the impact of peptide and SCT template mutations on protein expression yield, thermal stability, and functionality. SCT libraries were an efficient tool for identifying T cells recognizing commonly reported viral epitopes. We then construct SCT libraries to capture SARS-CoV-2 specific CD8+ T cells from COVID-19 participants and healthy donors. The immunogenicity of these epitopes is validated by functional assays of T cells with cloned TCRs captured using SCT libraries. These technologies should enable the rapid analyses of peptide-based T cell responses across several contexts, including autoimmunity, cancer, or infectious disease.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Antigens , Epitopes , Peptides/genetics
6.
Structure ; 31(7): 801-811.e5, 2023 Jul 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2318034

ABSTRACT

Understanding the molecular features of neutralizing epitopes is important for developing vaccines/therapeutics against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. We describe three monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) generated from COVID-19 recovered individuals during the first wave of the pandemic in India. These mAbs had publicly shared near germline gene usage and potently neutralized Alpha and Delta, poorly neutralized Beta, and failed to neutralize Omicron BA.1 SARS-CoV-2 variants. Structural analysis of these mAbs in complex with trimeric spike protein showed that all three mAbs bivalently bind spike with two mAbs targeting class 1 and one targeting a class 4 receptor binding domain epitope. The immunogenetic makeup, structure, and function of these mAbs revealed specific molecular interactions associated with the potent multi-variant binding/neutralization efficacy. This knowledge shows how mutational combinations can affect the binding or neutralization of an antibody, which in turn relates to the efficacy of immune responses to emerging SARS-CoV-2 escape variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Antibodies, Monoclonal , Epitopes , Neutralization Tests
7.
J Virol ; 97(6): e0028623, 2023 Jun 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2315599

ABSTRACT

We identified neutralizing monoclonal antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants (including Omicron variants BA.5 and BA.2.75) from individuals who received two doses of mRNA vaccination after they had been infected with the D614G virus. We named them MO1, MO2, and MO3. Among them, MO1 showed particularly high neutralizing activity against authentic variants: D614G, Delta, BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2, BA.2.75, and BA.5. Furthermore, MO1 suppressed BA.5 infection in hamsters. A structural analysis revealed that MO1 binds to the conserved epitope of seven variants, including Omicron variants BA.5 and BA.2.75, in the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein. MO1 targets an epitope conserved among Omicron variants BA.1, BA.2, and BA.5 in a unique binding mode. Our findings confirm that D614G-derived vaccination can induce neutralizing antibodies that recognize the epitopes conserved among the SARS-CoV-2 variants. IMPORTANCE Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2 acquired escape ability from host immunity and authorized antibody therapeutics and thereby have been spreading worldwide. We reported that patients infected with an early SARS-CoV-2 variant, D614G, and who received subsequent two-dose mRNA vaccination have high neutralizing antibody titer against Omicron lineages. It was speculated that the patients have neutralizing antibodies broadly effective against SARS-CoV-2 variants by targeting common epitopes. Here, we explored human monoclonal antibodies from B cells of the patients. One of the monoclonal antibodies, named MO1, showed high potency against broad SARS-CoV-2 variants including BA.2.75 and BA.5 variants. The results prove that monoclonal antibodies that have common neutralizing epitopes among several Omicrons were produced in patients infected with D614G and who received mRNA vaccination.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal , COVID-19 , Animals , Cricetinae , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/prevention & control , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Epitopes/genetics , RNA, Messenger , Antibodies, Viral , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
8.
Microb Cell Fact ; 22(1): 96, 2023 May 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2315527

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The use of probiotic lactic acid bacteria as a mucosal vaccine vector is considered a promising alternative compared to the use of other microorganisms because of its "Generally Regarded as Safe" status, its potential adjuvant properties, and its tolerogenicity to the host. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is highly transmissible and pathogenic. This study aimed to determine the potential of Lactiplantibacillus plantarum expressing SARS-CoV-2 epitopes as a mucosal vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: In this study, the possible antigenic determinants of the spike (S1-1, S1-2, S1-3, and S1-4), membrane (ME1 and ME2), and envelope (E) proteins of SARS-CoV-2 were predicted, and recombinant L. plantarum strains surface-displaying these epitopes were constructed. Subsequently, the immune responses induced by these recombinant strains were compared in vitro and in vivo. Most surface-displayed epitopes induced pro-inflammatory cytokines [tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α and interleukin (IL)-6] and anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-10) in lipopolysaccharide-induced RAW 264.7, with the highest anti-inflammatory to pro-inflammatory cytokine ratio in the S1-1 and S1-2 groups, followed by that in the S1-3 group. When orally administered of recombinant L. plantarum expressing SARS-CoV-2 epitopes in mice, all epitopes most increased the expression of IL-4, along with induced levels of TNF-α, interferon-gamma, and IL-10, specifically in spike protein groups. Thus, the surface expression of epitopes from the spike S1 protein in L. plantarum showed potential immunoregulatory effects, suggesting its ability to potentially circumvent hyperinflammatory states relevant to monocyte/macrophage cell activation. At 35 days post immunization (dpi), serum IgG levels showed a marked increase in the S1-1, S1-2, and S1-3 groups. Fecal IgA levels increased significantly from 21 dpi in all the antigen groups, but the boosting effect after 35 dpi was explicitly observed in the S1-1, S1-2, and S1-3 groups. Thus, the oral administration of SARS-CoV-2 antigens into mice induced significant humoral and mucosal immune responses. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that L. plantarum is a potential vector that can effectively deliver SARS-CoV-2 epitopes to intestinal mucosal sites and could serve as a novel approach for SARS-CoV-2 mucosal vaccine development.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Mice , Humans , Interleukin-10 , Immunity, Mucosal , Epitopes , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunization , Cytokines
9.
Microbiol Spectr ; 11(3): e0032423, 2023 Jun 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2320102

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N) protein is highly immunogenic, and anti-N antibodies are commonly used as markers for prior infection. While several studies have examined or predicted the antigenic regions of N, these have lacked consensus and structural context. Using COVID-19 patient sera to probe an overlapping peptide array, we identified six public and four private epitope regions across N, some of which are unique to this study. We further report the first deposited X-ray structure of the stable dimerization domain at 2.05 Å as similar to all other reported structures. Structural mapping revealed that most epitopes are derived from surface-exposed loops on the stable domains or from the unstructured linker regions. An antibody response to an epitope in the stable RNA binding domain was found more frequently in sera from patients requiring intensive care. Since emerging amino acid variations in N map to immunogenic peptides, N protein variation could impact detection of seroconversion for variants of concern. IMPORTANCE As SARS-CoV-2 continues to evolve, a structural and genetic understanding of key viral epitopes will be essential to the development of next-generation diagnostics and vaccines. This study uses structural biology and epitope mapping to define the antigenic regions of the viral nucleocapsid protein in sera from a cohort of COVID-19 patients with diverse clinical outcomes. These results are interpreted in the context of prior structural and epitope mapping studies as well as in the context of emergent viral variants. This report serves as a resource for synthesizing the current state of the field toward improving strategies for future diagnostic and therapeutic design.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Epitopes , Nucleocapsid , Peptides
10.
Dig Dis Sci ; 68(7): 2824-2842, 2023 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2313885

ABSTRACT

Molecular mimicry between foreign and self-antigens has been implicated as a cause of autoimmune hepatitis in experimental models and cross-reacting antibodies in patients. This review describes the experimental and clinical evidence for molecular mimicry as a cause of autoimmune hepatitis, indicates the limitations and uncertainties of this premise, and encourages investigations that assess diverse environmental antigens as sources of disease-relevant molecular mimics. Pertinent articles were identified in PubMed using multiple search phrases. Several pathogens have linear or conformational epitopes that mimic the self-antigens of autoimmune hepatitis. The occurrence of an acute immune-mediated hepatitis after vaccination for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-associated coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has suggested that vaccine-induced peptides may mimic disease-relevant tissue antigens. The intestinal microbiome is an under-evaluated source of gut-derived antigens that could also engage in molecular mimicry. Chaperone molecules may enhance the pathogenicity of molecular mimics, and they warrant investigation. Molecular mimics of immune dominant epitopes within cytochrome P450 IID6, the autoantigen most closely associated with autoimmune hepatitis, should be sought in diverse environmental antigens and assessed for pathogenicity. Avoidance strategies, dietary adjustments, vaccine improvement, and targeted manipulation of the intestinal microbiota may emerge as therapeutic possibilities. In conclusion, molecular mimicry may be a missing causality of autoimmune hepatitis. Molecular mimics of key immune dominant epitopes of disease-specific antigens must be sought in diverse environmental antigens. The ubiquity of molecular mimicry compels rigorous assessments of peptide mimics for immunogenicity and pathogenicity in experimental models. Molecular mimicry may complement epigenetic modifications as causative mechanisms of autoimmune hepatitis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hepatitis, Autoimmune , Humans , Molecular Mimicry , SARS-CoV-2 , Autoantigens , Epitopes , Peptides
11.
PLoS One ; 18(5): e0284173, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2313148

ABSTRACT

The pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is currently the biggest healthcare issue worldwide. This study aimed to develop a monoclonal antibody against SARS-CoV-2 from B cells of recovered COVID-19 patients, which might have beneficial therapeutic purposes for COVID-19 patients. We successfully generated human monoclonal antibodies (hmAbs) against the receptor binding domain (RBD) protein of SARS-CoV-2 using developed hybridoma technology. The isolated hmAbs against the RBD protein (wild-type) showed high binding activity and neutralized the interaction between the RBD and the cellular receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) protein. Epitope binning and crystallography results displayed target epitopes of these antibodies in distinct regions beneficial in the mix as a cocktail. The 3D2 binds to conserved epitopes among multi-variants. Pseudovirion-based neutralization results revealed that the antibody cocktail, 1D1 and 3D2, showed high potency in multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In vivo studies showed the ability of the antibody cocktail treatment (intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration) to reduce viral load (Beta variant) in blood and various tissues. While the antibody cocktail treatment (intranasal (i.n.) administration) could not significantly reduce the viral load in nasal turbinate and lung tissue, it could reduce the viral load in blood, kidney, and brain tissue. These findings revealed that the efficacy of the antibody cocktail, 1D1 and 3D2, should be further studied in animal models in terms of timing of administration, optimal dose, and efficacy to mitigate inflammation in targeted tissue such as nasal turbinate and lung.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Humans , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Monoclonal , Epitopes , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
12.
Int J Biol Macromol ; 226: 885-899, 2023 Jan 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2310578

ABSTRACT

Despite the availability of prevention and treatment strategies and advancing immunization approaches, the influenza virus remains a global threat that continues to plague humanity with unpredictable pandemics. Due to the unusual genetic variability and segmented genome, the reassortment between different strains of influenza is facilitated and the viruses continuously evolve and adapt to the host cell's immunity. This underlies the seasonal vaccine mismatches that decrease the vaccine efficacy and increase the risk of outbreaks. Thus, the development of a universal vaccine covering all the influenza A and B strains would reduce the pervasiveness of the influenza virus. In the current study, a potentially universal influenza multi-epitope vaccine was designed based on the experimentally tested conserved T cell and B cell epitopes of hemagglutinin (HA), neuraminidase (NA), nucleoprotein (NP), and matrix-2 proton channel (M2) of the virus. The immune simulation and molecular docking of the vaccine construct with TLR2, TLR3, and TLR4 elicited the favorable immunogenicity of the vaccine and the formation of stable complexes, respectively. Ultimately, based on the immunoinformatics analysis, the universal mRNA multi-epitope vaccine designed in this study might have a protection potential against the various subtypes of influenza A and B.


Subject(s)
Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human , Orthomyxoviridae , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Epitopes/genetics , Pandemics/prevention & control , Molecular Docking Simulation , Antibodies, Viral
13.
Funct Integr Genomics ; 23(2): 107, 2023 Mar 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2307860

ABSTRACT

Helicobacter pylori is a leading cause of stomach cancer and peptic ulcers. Thus, identifying epitopes in H. pylori antigens is important for disease etiology, immunological surveillance, enhancing early detection tests, and developing optimal epitope-based vaccines. We used immunoinformatic and computational methods to create a potential CagW epitope candidate for H. pylori protection. The cagW gene of H. pylori was amplified and cloned into pcDNA3.1 (+) for injection into the muscles of healthy BALB/c mice to assess the impact of the DNA vaccine on interleukin levels. The results will be compared to a control group of mice that received PBS or cagW-pcDNA3.1 (+) vaccinations. An analysis of CagW protein antigens revealed 8 CTL and 7 HTL epitopes linked with AYY and GPGPG, which were enhanced by adding B-defensins to the N-terminus. The vaccine's immunogenicity, allergenicity, and physiochemistry were validated, and its strong activation of TLRs (1, 2, 3, 4, and 10) suggests it is antigenic. An in-silico cloning and immune response model confirmed the vaccine's expression efficiency and predicted its impact on the immune system. An immunofluorescence experiment showed stable and bioactive cagW gene expression in HDF cells after cloning the whole genome into pcDNA3.1 (+). In vivo vaccination showed that pcDNA3.1 (+)-cagW-immunized mice had stronger immune responses and a longer plasmid DNA release window than control-plasmid-immunized mice. After that, bioinformatics methods predicted, developed, and validated the three-dimensional structure. Many online services docked it with Toll-like receptors. The vaccine was refined using allergenicity, antigenicity, solubility, physicochemical properties, and molecular docking scores. Virtual-reality immune system simulations showed an impressive reaction. Codon optimization and in-silico cloning produced E. coli-expressed vaccines. This study suggests a CagW epitopes-protected H. pylori infection. These studies show that the proposed immunization may elicit particular immune responses against H. pylori, but laboratory confirmation is needed to verify its safety and immunogenicity.


Subject(s)
Helicobacter Infections , Helicobacter pylori , Vaccines , Animals , Mice , Helicobacter pylori/genetics , Immunodominant Epitopes , Helicobacter Infections/prevention & control , Molecular Docking Simulation , Escherichia coli , Epitopes/genetics
14.
Comput Biol Med ; 160: 106929, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2294228

ABSTRACT

Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF-α) is a pleiotropic pro-inflammatory cytokine that is crucial in controlling the signaling pathways within the immune cells. Recent studies reported that higher expression levels of TNF-α are associated with the progression of several diseases, including cancers, cytokine release syndrome in COVID-19, and autoimmune disorders. Thus, it is the need of the hour to develop immunotherapies or subunit vaccines to manage TNF-α progression in various disease conditions. In the pilot study, we proposed a host-specific in-silico tool for predicting, designing, and scanning TNF-α inducing epitopes. The prediction models were trained and validated on the experimentally validated TNF-α inducing/non-inducing epitopes from human and mouse hosts. Firstly, we developed alignment-free (machine learning based models using composition-based features of peptides) methods for predicting TNF-α inducing peptides and achieved maximum AUROC of 0.79 and 0.74 for human and mouse hosts, respectively. Secondly, an alignment-based (using BLAST) method has been used for predicting TNF-α inducing epitopes. Finally, a hybrid method (combination of alignment-free and alignment-based method) has been developed for predicting epitopes. Hybrid approach achieved maximum AUROC of 0.83 and 0.77 on an independent dataset for human and mouse hosts, respectively. We have also identified potential TNF-α inducing peptides in different proteins of HIV-1, HIV-2, SARS-CoV-2, and human insulin. The best models developed in this study has been incorporated in the webserver TNFepitope (https://webs.iiitd.edu.in/raghava/tnfepitope/), standalone package and GitLab (https://gitlab.com/raghavalab/tnfepitope).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha , Humans , Animals , Mice , Epitopes , Pilot Projects , SARS-CoV-2 , Peptides
15.
PLoS Pathog ; 19(4): e1010870, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2305447

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The SARS-CoV-2 non-Spike (S) structural protein targets on nucleocapsid (N), membrane (M) and envelope (E), critical in the host cell interferon response and memory T-cell immunity, are grossly overlooked in COVID vaccine development. The current Spike-only vaccines bear an intrinsic shortfall for promotion of a fuller T cell immunity. Vaccines designed to target conserved epitopes could elicit strong cellular immune responses that would synergize with B cell responses and lead to long-term vaccine success. We pursue a universal (pan-SARS-CoV-2) vaccine against Delta, Omicrons and ever-emergent new mutants. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We explored booster immunogenicity of UB-612, a multitope-vaccine that contains S1-RBD-sFc protein and sequence-conserved promiscuous Th and CTL epitope peptides on the Sarbecovirus N, M and S2 proteins. To a subpopulation (N = 1,478) of infection-free participants (aged 18-85 years) involved in a two-dose Phase-2 trial, a UB-612 booster (third dose) was administered 6-8 months after the second dose. The immunogenicity was evaluated at 14 days post-booster with overall safety monitored until the end of study. The booster induced high viral-neutralizing antibodies against live Wuhan WT (VNT50, 1,711) and Delta (VNT50, 1,282); and against pseudovirus WT (pVNT50, 11,167) vs. Omicron BA.1/BA.2/BA.5 variants (pVNT50, 2,314/1,890/854), respectively. The lower primary neutralizing antibodies in the elderly were uplifted upon boosting to approximately the same high level in young adults. UB-612 also induced potent, durable Th1-oriented (IFN-γ+-) responses (peak/pre-boost/post-boost SFU/106 PBMCs, 374/261/444) along with robust presence of cytotoxic CD8+ T cells (peak/pre-boost/post-boost CD107a+-Granzyme B+, 3.6%/1.8%/1.8%). This UB-612 booster vaccination is safe and well tolerated without SAEs. CONCLUSIONS: By targeting conserved epitopes on viral S2, M and N proteins, UB-612 could provide potent, broad and long-lasting B-cell and T-cell memory immunity and offers the potential as a universal vaccine to fend off Omicrons and new VoCs without resorting to Omicron-specific immunogens. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT04773067; ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT05293665; ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT05541861.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Aged , Young Adult , Humans , Epitopes , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Immunity, Cellular
16.
ACS Sens ; 8(4): 1648-1657, 2023 04 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2305204

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 variants play an important role in predicting patient outcome during postinfection, and with growing fears of COVID-19 reservoirs in domestic and wild animals, it is necessary to adapt detection systems for variant detection. However, variant-specific detection remains challenging. Surface-enhanced Raman scattering is a sensitive and multiplexing technique that allows the simultaneous detection of multiple targets for accurate identification. Here we propose the development of a multiplex SERS microassay to detect both the spike and nucleocapsid structural proteins of SARS-CoV-2. The designed SERS microassay integrates gold-silver hollow nanobox barcodes and electrohydrodynamically induced nanomixing which in combination enables highly specific and sensitive detection of SARS-CoV-2 and the S-protein epitopes to delineate between ancestral prevariant strains with the newer variants of concern, Delta and Omicron. The microassay allows detection from as low as 20 virus/µL and 50 pg/mL RBD protein and can clearly identify the virus among infected versus healthy nasopharyngeal swabs, with the potential to identify between variants. The detection of both S- and N-proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and the differentiation of variants on the SERS microassay can aid the early detection of COVID-19 to reduce transmission rates and lead into adequate treatments for those severely affected by the virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , COVID-19/diagnosis , Epitopes , Gold , Nucleocapsid Proteins
17.
Viruses ; 15(4)2023 03 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2306063

ABSTRACT

Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) is a severe contagious intestinal disease caused by the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), which leads to high mortality in piglets. In this study, by analyzing a total of 53 full-length spike genes and COE domain regions of PEDVs, the conserved COE fragment of the spike protein from the dominant strain SC1402 was chosen as the target protein and expressed successfully in Pichia pastoris (P. pastoris). Furthermore, an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA) based on the recombinant COE protein was developed for the detection of anti-PEDV antibodies in pig sera. The results showed that under the optimized conditions, the cut-off value of COE-based indirect ELISA (COE-iELISA) was determined to be 0.12. Taking the serum neutralization test as standard, the relative sensitivity of the COE-iELISA was 94.4% and specificity 92.6%. Meanwhile, no cross-reactivity to other porcine pathogens was noted with this assay. The intra-assay and inter-assay coefficients of variation were less than 7%. Moreover, 164 vaccinated serum samples test showed that overall agreement between COE-iELISA and the actual diagnosis result was up to 99.4%. More importantly, the developed iELISA exhibited a 95.08% agreement rate with the commercial ELISA kit (Kappa value = 0.88), which suggested that the expressed COE protein was an effective antigen in serologic tests and the established COE-iELISA is reliable for monitoring PEDV infection in pigs or vaccine effectiveness.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus , Swine Diseases , Animals , Swine , Epitopes , Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus/genetics , Saccharomyces cerevisiae , Antibodies, Viral , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control
18.
Int J Mol Sci ; 24(8)2023 Apr 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2305988

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) impacted healthcare, the workforce, and worldwide socioeconomics. Multi-dose mono- or bivalent mRNA vaccine regimens have shown high efficacy in protection against SARS-CoV-2 and its emerging variants with varying degrees of efficacy. Amino acid changes, primarily in the receptor-binding domain (RBD), result in selection for viral infectivity, disease severity, and immune evasion. Therefore, many studies have centered around neutralizing antibodies that target the RBD and their generation achieved through infection or vaccination. Here, we conducted a unique longitudinal study, analyzing the effects of a three-dose mRNA vaccine regimen exclusively using the monovalent BNT162b2 (Pfizer/BioNTech) vaccine, systematically administered to nine previously uninfected (naïve) individuals. We compare changes in humoral antibody responses across the entire SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein (S) using a high-throughput phage display technique (VirScan). Our data demonstrate that two doses of vaccination alone can achieve the broadest and highest magnitudes of anti-S response. Moreover, we present evidence of novel highly boosted non-RBD epitopes that strongly correlate with neutralization and recapitulate independent findings. These vaccine-boosted epitopes could facilitate multi-valent vaccine development and drug discovery.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , COVID-19/prevention & control , Antibody Formation , BNT162 Vaccine , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics , Vaccination , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Epitopes , Antibodies, Viral
19.
Front Immunol ; 14: 1126034, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2299649

ABSTRACT

Glycan masking is a novel technique in reverse vaccinology in which sugar chains (glycans) are added on the surface of immunogen candidates to hide regions of low interest and thus focus the immune system on highly therapeutic epitopes. This shielding strategy is inspired by viruses such as influenza and HIV, which are able to escape the immune system by incorporating additional glycosylation and preventing the binding of therapeutic antibodies. Interestingly, the glycan masking technique is mainly used in vaccine design to fight the same viruses that naturally use glycans to evade the immune system. In this review we report the major successes obtained with the glycan masking technique in epitope-focused vaccine design. We focus on the choice of the target antigen, the strategy for immunogen design and the relevance of the carrier vector to induce a strong immune response. Moreover, we will elucidate the different applications that can be accomplished with glycan masking, such as shifting the immune response from hyper-variable epitopes to more conserved ones, focusing the response on known therapeutic epitopes, broadening the response to different viral strains/sub-types and altering the antigen immunogenicity to elicit higher or lower immune response, as desired.


Subject(s)
HIV Antibodies , HIV-1 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Epitopes , Polysaccharides
20.
FEBS J ; 290(13): 3422-3435, 2023 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2256964

ABSTRACT

Monoclonal antibodies that retain neutralizing activity against multiple coronavirus (CoV) lineages and variants of concern (VoC) must be developed to protect against future pandemics. These broadly neutralizing MAbs (BNMAbs) may be used as therapeutics and/or to assist in the rational design of vaccines that induce BNMAbs. 1249A8 is a BNMAb that targets the stem helix (SH) region of CoV spike (S) protein and neutralizes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) original strain, delta, and omicron VoC, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoV (SARS-CoV), and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome CoV (MERS-CoV). To understand its mechanism of action, the crystal structure of 1249A8 bound to a MERS-CoV SH peptide was determined at 2.1 Å resolution. BNMAb 1249A8 mimics the SARS-CoV-2 S loop residues 743-749, which interacts with the N-terminal end of the SH helix in the S post-fusion conformation. The conformation of 1249A8-bound SH is distinct from the SH conformation observed in the post-fusion SARS-CoV-2 S structure, suggesting 1249A8 disrupts the secondary structure and refolding events required for CoV post-fusion S to initiate membrane fusion and ultimately infection. This study provides novel insights into the neutralization mechanisms of SH-targeting CoV BNMAbs that may inform vaccine development and the design of optimal BNMAb therapeutics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Humans , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Epitopes , Antibodies, Viral , Antibodies, Monoclonal , SARS-CoV-2
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