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1.
Microbiol Spectr ; 9(3): e0165921, 2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1598527

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 vaccines are currently being administered worldwide and playing a critical role in controlling the pandemic. They have been designed to elicit neutralizing antibodies against Spike protein of the original SARS-CoV-2, and hence they are less effective against SARS-CoV-2 variants with mutated Spike than the original virus. It is possible that novel variants with abilities of enhanced transmissibility and/or immunoevasion will appear in the near future and perfectly escape from vaccine-elicited immunity. Therefore, the current vaccines may need to be improved to compensate for the viral evolution. For this purpose, it may be beneficial to take advantage of CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). Several lines of evidence suggest the contribution of CTLs on the viral control in COVID-19, and CTLs target a wide range of proteins involving comparatively conserved nonstructural proteins. Here, we identified 22 HLA-A*24:02-restricted CTL candidate epitopes derived from the nonstructural polyprotein 1a (pp1a) of SARS-CoV-2 using computational algorithms, HLA-A*24:02 transgenic mice and the peptide-encapsulated liposomes. We focused on pp1a and HLA-A*24:02 because pp1a is relatively conserved and HLA-A*24:02 is predominant in East Asians such as Japanese. The conservation analysis revealed that the amino acid sequences of 7 out of the 22 epitopes were hardly affected by a number of mutations in the Sequence Read Archive database of SARS-CoV-2 variants. The information of such conserved epitopes might be useful for designing the next-generation COVID-19 vaccine that is universally effective against any SARS-CoV-2 variants by the induction of both anti-Spike neutralizing antibodies and CTLs specific for conserved epitopes. IMPORTANCE COVID-19 vaccines have been designed to elicit neutralizing antibodies against the Spike protein of the original SARS-CoV-2, and hence they are less effective against variants. It is possible that novel variants will appear and escape from vaccine-elicited immunity. Therefore, the current vaccines may need to be improved to compensate for the viral evolution. For this purpose, it may be beneficial to take advantage of CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). Here, we identified 22 HLA-A*24:02-restricted CTL candidate epitopes derived from the nonstructural polyprotein 1a (pp1a) of SARS-CoV-2. We focused on pp1a and HLA-A*24:02 because pp1a is conserved and HLA-A*24:02 is predominant in East Asians. The conservation analysis revealed that the amino acid sequences of 7 out of the 22 epitopes were hardly affected by mutations in the database of SARS-CoV-2 variants. The information might be useful for designing the next-generation COVID-19 vaccine that is universally effective against any variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes/immunology , HLA-A24 Antigen/genetics , HLA-A24 Antigen/immunology , Mutation , Polyproteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Epitopes/genetics , HLA-A24 Antigen/isolation & purification , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
2.
JCI Insight ; 6(24)2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1598468

ABSTRACT

mRNA vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 have shown exceptional clinical efficacy, providing robust protection against severe disease. However, our understanding of transcriptional and repertoire changes following full vaccination remains incomplete. We used scRNA-Seq and functional assays to compare humoral and cellular responses to 2 doses of mRNA vaccine with responses observed in convalescent individuals with asymptomatic disease. Our analyses revealed enrichment of spike-specific B cells, activated CD4+ T cells, and robust antigen-specific polyfunctional CD4+ T cell responses following vaccination. On the other hand, although clonally expanded CD8+ T cells were observed following both vaccination and natural infection, CD8+ T cell responses were relatively weak and variable. In addition, TCR gene usage was variable, reflecting the diversity of repertoires and MHC polymorphism in the human population. Natural infection induced expansion of CD8+ T cell clones that occupy distinct clusters compared to those induced by vaccination and likely recognize a broader set of viral antigens of viral epitopes presented by the virus not seen in the mRNA vaccine. Our study highlights a coordinated adaptive immune response in which early CD4+ T cell responses facilitate the development of the B cell response and substantial expansion of effector CD8+ T cells, together capable of contributing to future recall responses.


Subject(s)
/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Cellular/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , /therapeutic use , Adaptive Immunity/genetics , Adaptive Immunity/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antigens, Viral , B-Lymphocytes , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Carrier State , Convalescence , Epitopes , Female , Humans , Immunity, Cellular/genetics , Immunity, Humoral/genetics , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Immunologic Memory , Male , Middle Aged , RNA-Seq , SARS-CoV-2 , Single-Cell Analysis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Th1 Cells , Th17 Cells , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/therapeutic use , Young Adult , /therapeutic use
3.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 7325, 2021 12 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585854

ABSTRACT

Single-domain Variable New Antigen Receptors (VNARs) from the immune system of sharks are the smallest naturally occurring binding domains found in nature. Possessing flexible paratopes that can recognize protein motifs inaccessible to classical antibodies, VNARs have yet to be exploited for the development of SARS-CoV-2 therapeutics. Here, we detail the identification of a series of VNARs from a VNAR phage display library screened against the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD). The ability of the VNARs to neutralize pseudotype and authentic live SARS-CoV-2 virus rivalled or exceeded that of full-length immunoglobulins and other single-domain antibodies. Crystallographic analysis of two VNARs found that they recognized separate epitopes on the RBD and had distinctly different mechanisms of virus neutralization unique to VNARs. Structural and biochemical data suggest that VNARs would be effective therapeutic agents against emerging SARS-CoV-2 mutants, including the Delta variant, and coronaviruses across multiple phylogenetic lineages. This study highlights the utility of VNARs as effective therapeutics against coronaviruses and may serve as a critical milestone for nearing a paradigm shift of the greater biologic landscape.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Crystallography, X-Ray , Receptors, Antigen/chemistry , Receptors, Antigen/immunology , Sharks/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , COVID-19 , Epitopes , Mutation , Phylogeny , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Alignment , Single-Domain Antibodies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
4.
MAbs ; 14(1): 2002236, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585298

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an evolving global public health crisis in need of therapeutic options. Passive immunization of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) represents a promising therapeutic strategy capable of conferring immediate protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Herein, we describe the discovery and characterization of neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 IgG and VHH antibodies from four large-scale phage libraries. Each library was constructed synthetically with shuffled complementarity-determining region loops from natural llama and human antibody repertoires. While most candidates targeted the receptor-binding domain of the S1 subunit of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, we also identified a neutralizing IgG candidate that binds a unique epitope on the N-terminal domain. A select number of antibodies retained binding to SARS-CoV-2 variants Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Kappa and Delta. Overall, our data show that synthetic phage libraries can rapidly yield SARS-CoV-2 S1 antibodies with therapeutically desirable features, including high affinity, unique binding sites, and potent neutralizing activity in vitro, and a capacity to limit disease in vivo.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Surface Display Techniques , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Peptide Library , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Domain Antibodies/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Antibody Specificity , Binding Sites, Antibody , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Models, Animal , Epitopes , Female , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Immunoglobulin G/genetics , Immunoglobulin G/metabolism , Immunoglobulin G/pharmacology , Mesocricetus , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Single-Domain Antibodies/metabolism , Single-Domain Antibodies/pharmacology , Vero Cells
5.
Front Immunol ; 12: 795741, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581316

ABSTRACT

Glycan-masking the vaccine antigen by mutating the undesired antigenic sites with an additional N-linked glycosylation motif can refocus B-cell responses to desired epitopes, without affecting the antigen's overall-folded structure. This study examined the impact of glycan-masking mutants of the N-terminal domain (NTD) and receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2, and found that the antigenic design of the S protein increases the neutralizing antibody titers against the Wuhan-Hu-1 ancestral strain and the recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 variants Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), and Delta (B.1.617.2). Our results demonstrated that the use of glycan-masking Ad-S-R158N/Y160T in the NTD elicited a 2.8-fold, 6.5-fold, and 4.6-fold increase in the IC-50 NT titer against the Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351) and Delta (B.1.617.2) variants, respectively. Glycan-masking of Ad-S-D428N in the RBD resulted in a 3.0-fold and 2.0-fold increase in the IC-50 neutralization titer against the Alpha (B.1.1.7) and Beta (B.1.351) variants, respectively. The use of glycan-masking in Ad-S-R158N/Y160T and Ad-S-D428N antigen design may help develop universal COVID-19 vaccines against current and future emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes/immunology , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adenoviridae/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Formation/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic , Female , Genetic Engineering , Genetic Vectors/genetics , Humans , Immunization , Mice , Neutralization Tests , Polysaccharides , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Structure-Activity Relationship
6.
Mol Cell ; 81(24): 5099-5111.e8, 2021 12 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1578079

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is a critical component of vaccines and a target for neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (nAbs). Spike is also undergoing immunogenic selection with variants that increase infectivity and partially escape convalescent plasma. Here, we describe Spike Display, a high-throughput platform to rapidly characterize glycosylated spike ectodomains across multiple coronavirus-family proteins. We assayed ∼200 variant SARS-CoV-2 spikes for their expression, ACE2 binding, and recognition by 13 nAbs. An alanine scan of all five N-terminal domain (NTD) loops highlights a public epitope in the N1, N3, and N5 loops recognized by most NTD-binding nAbs. NTD mutations in variants of concern B.1.1.7 (alpha), B.1.351 (beta), B.1.1.28 (gamma), B.1.427/B.1.429 (epsilon), and B.1.617.2 (delta) impact spike expression and escape most NTD-targeting nAbs. Finally, B.1.351 and B.1.1.28 completely escape a potent ACE2 mimic. We anticipate that Spike Display will accelerate antigen design, deep scanning mutagenesis, and antibody epitope mapping for SARS-CoV-2 and other emerging viral threats.


Subject(s)
Mammals/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mammals/immunology , Protein Binding/genetics , Protein Binding/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
7.
Viruses ; 13(12)2021 12 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555015

ABSTRACT

We have developed a monoclonal antibody (mAb) cocktail (ZRC-3308) comprising of ZRC3308-A7 and ZRC3308-B10 in the ratio 1:1 for COVID-19 treatment. The mAbs were designed to have reduced immune effector functions and increased circulation half-life. mAbs showed good binding affinities to non-competing epitopes on RBD of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and were found neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 variants B.1, B.1.1.7, B.1.351, B.1.617.2, and B.1.617.2 AY.1 in vitro. The mAb cocktail demonstrated effective prophylactic and therapeutic activity against SARS-CoV-2 infection in Syrian hamsters. The antibody cocktail appears to be a promising candidate for prophylactic use and for therapy in early COVID-19 cases that have not progressed to severe disease.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibody Affinity , Binding Sites , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Epitopes , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Mesocricetus , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
8.
J Med Virol ; 93(12): 6765-6777, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1544330

ABSTRACT

Avidity is defined as the binding strength of immunoglobulin G (IgG) toward its target epitope. Avidity is directly related to affinity, as both processes are determined by the best fit of IgG to epitopes. We confirm and extend data on incomplete avidity maturation of IgG toward severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nucleoprotein (NP), spike protein-1 (S1), and its receptor-binding domain (RBD) in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. In SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals, an initial rise in avidity maturation was ending abruptly, leading to IgG of persistently low or intermediate avidity. Incomplete avidity maturation might facilitate secondary SARS-CoV-2 infections and thus prevent the establishment of herd immunity. Incomplete avidity maturation after infection with SARS-CoV-2 (with only 11.8% of cases showing finally IgG of high avidity, that is, an avidity index > 0.6) was contrasted by regular and rapid establishment of high avidity in SARS-CoV-2 naïve individuals after two vaccination steps with the BioNTech messenger RNA (mRNA) Vaccine (78% of cases with high avidity). One vaccination step was not sufficient for induction of complete avidity maturation in vaccinated SARS-CoV-2 naïve individuals, as it induced high avidity only in 2.9% of cases within 3 weeks. However, one vaccination step was sufficient to induce high avidity in individuals with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Formation/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Herd/immunology , Immunologic Tests/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination/methods , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology
9.
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
10.
Front Immunol ; 12: 750386, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1515534

ABSTRACT

Antibodies targeting Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 have been suggested to account for the majority of neutralizing activity in COVID-19 convalescent sera and several neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) have been isolated, characterized and proposed as emergency therapeutics in the form of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). However, SARS-CoV-2 variants are rapidly spreading worldwide from the sites of initial identification. The variants of concern (VOC) B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), P.1 (Gamma) and B.1.167.2 (Delta) showed mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein potentially able to cause escape from nAb responses with a consequent reduction of efficacy of vaccines and mAbs-based therapy. We produced the recombinant RBD (rRBD) of SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein from the Wuhan-Hu 1 reference sequence in a mammalian system, for mice immunization to isolate new mAbs with neutralizing activity. Here we describe four mAbs that were able to bind the rRBD in Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay and the transmembrane full-length spike protein expressed in HEK293T cells by flow cytometry assay. Moreover, the mAbs recognized the RBD in supernatants of SARS-CoV-2 infected VERO E6 cells by Western Blot under non-reducing condition or in supernatants of cells infected with lentivirus pseudotyped for spike protein, by immunoprecipitation assay. Three out of four mAbs lost their binding efficiency to completely N-deglycosylated rRBD and none was able to bind the same recombinant protein expressed in Escherichia coli, suggesting that the epitopes recognized by three mAbs are generated by the conformational structure of the glycosylated native protein. Of particular relevance, three mAbs were able to inhibit Wuhan SARS-CoV-2 infection of VERO E6 cells in a plaque-reduction neutralization test and the Wuhan SARS-CoV-2 as well as the Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta VOC in a pseudoviruses-based neutralization test. These mAbs represent important additional tools for diagnosis and therapy of COVID-19 and may contribute to the understanding of the functional structure of SARS-CoV-2 RBD.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/pharmacology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/pharmacology , Epitopes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Binding Sites, Antibody/immunology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Line, Tumor , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , Glycosylation , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vero Cells
11.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 6304, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500462

ABSTRACT

Accumulating mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) protein can increase the possibility of immune escape, challenging the present COVID-19 prophylaxis and clinical interventions. Here, 3 receptor binding domain (RBD) specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), 58G6, 510A5 and 13G9, with high neutralizing potency blocking authentic SARS-CoV-2 virus display remarkable efficacy against authentic B.1.351 virus. Surprisingly, structural analysis has revealed that 58G6 and 13G9 both recognize the steric region S470-495 on the RBD, overlapping the E484K mutation presented in B.1.351. Also, 58G6 directly binds to another region S450-458 in the RBD. Significantly, 58G6 and 510A5 both demonstrate prophylactic efficacy against authentic SARS-CoV-2 and B.1.351 viruses in the transgenic mice expressing human ACE2 (hACE2), protecting weight loss and reducing virus loads. Together, we have evidenced 2 potent neutralizing Abs with unique mechanism targeting authentic SARS-CoV-2 mutants, which can be promising candidates to fulfill the urgent needs for the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Binding Sites , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Epitopes , Humans , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Load/drug effects , Weight Loss/drug effects
12.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 378, 2021 11 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500450

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic has heavily burdened the global public health system and may keep simmering for years. The frequent emergence of immune escape variants have spurred the search for prophylactic vaccines and therapeutic antibodies that confer broad protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants. Here we show that the bivalency of an affinity maturated fully human single-domain antibody (n3113.1-Fc) exhibits exquisite neutralizing potency against SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus, and confers effective prophylactic and therapeutic protection against authentic SARS-CoV-2 in the host cell receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) humanized mice. The crystal structure of n3113 in complex with the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2, combined with the cryo-EM structures of n3113 and spike ecto-domain, reveals that n3113 binds to the side surface of up-state RBD with no competition with ACE2. The binding of n3113 to this novel epitope stabilizes spike in up-state conformations but inhibits SARS-CoV-2 S mediated membrane fusion, expanding our recognition of neutralization by antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Binding assay and pseudovirus neutralization assay show no evasion of recently prevalent SARS-CoV-2 lineages, including Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), Gamma (P.1), and Delta (B.1.617.2) for n3113.1-Fc with Y58L mutation, demonstrating the potential of n3113.1-Fc (Y58L) as a promising candidate for clinical development to treat COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Single-Chain Antibodies/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , Crystallography, X-Ray , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Chain Antibodies/immunology , Single-Chain Antibodies/therapeutic use
13.
Microbiol Spectr ; 9(2): e0141621, 2021 10 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1495015

ABSTRACT

The rapid worldwide spread of SARS-CoV-2 has accelerated research and development for controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. A multi-coronavirus protein microarray was created containing full-length proteins, overlapping protein fragments of various lengths, and peptide libraries from SARS-CoV-2 and four other human coronaviruses. Sera from confirmed COVID-19 patients as well as unexposed individuals were applied to multicoronavirus arrays to identify specific antibody reactivity. High-level IgG, IgM, and IgA reactivity to structural proteins S, M, and N of SARS-CoV-2, as well as accessory proteins such as ORF3a and ORF7a, were observed that were specific to COVID-19 patients. Antibody reactivity against overlapping 100-, 50-, and 30-amino acid fragments of SARS-CoV-2 proteins was used to identify antigenic regions. Numerous proteins of SARS-CoV, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and the endemic human coronaviruses HCoV-NL63 and HCoV-OC43 were also more reactive with IgG, IgM, and IgA in COVID-19 patient sera than in unexposed control sera, providing further evidence of immunologic cross-reactivity between these viruses. Whereas unexposed individuals had minimal reactivity against SARS-CoV-2 proteins that poorly correlated with reactivity against HCoV-NL63 and HCoV-OC43 S2 and N proteins, COVID-19 patient sera had higher correlation between SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV responses, suggesting that de novo antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 cross-react with HCoV epitopes. Array responses were compared with validated spike protein-specific IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), showing agreement between orthologous methods. SARS-CoV-2 microneutralization titers were low in the COVID-19 patient sera but correlated with array responses against S and N proteins. The multi-coronavirus protein microarray is a useful tool for mapping antibody reactivity in COVID-19 patients. IMPORTANCE With novel mutant SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern on the rise, knowledge of immune specificities against SARS-CoV-2 proteins is increasingly important for understanding the impact of structural changes in antibody-reactive protein epitopes on naturally acquired and vaccine-induced immunity, as well as broader topics of cross-reactivity and viral evolution. A multi-coronavirus protein microarray used to map the binding of COVID-19 patient antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 proteins and protein fragments as well as to the proteins of four other coronaviruses that infect humans has shown specific regions of SARS-CoV-2 proteins that are highly reactive with patient antibodies and revealed cross-reactivity of these antibodies with other human coronaviruses. These data and the multi-coronavirus protein microarray tool will help guide further studies of the antibody response to COVID-19 and to vaccination against this worldwide pandemic.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Coronavirus NL63, Human/immunology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/immunology , Epitopes/immunology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Binding Sites, Antibody/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Cross Reactions/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Protein Array Analysis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Proteins/immunology , Viroporin Proteins/immunology
14.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(46)2021 11 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493347

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections elicit both humoral and cellular immune responses. For the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, it has become increasingly apparent that T cell responses are equally if not more important than humoral responses in mediating recovery and immune protection. One major challenge in developing T cell-based therapies for infectious and malignant diseases has been the identification of immunogenic epitopes that can elicit a meaningful T cell response. Traditionally, this has been achieved using sophisticated in silico methods to predict putative epitopes deduced from binding affinities. Our studies find that, in contrast to current convention, "immunodominant" SARS-CoV-2 peptides defined by such in silico methods often fail to elicit T cell responses recognizing naturally presented SARS-CoV-2 epitopes. We postulated that immunogenic epitopes for SARS-CoV-2 are best defined empirically by directly analyzing peptides eluted from the naturally processed peptide-major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and then validating immunogenicity by determining whether such peptides can elicit T cells recognizing SARS-CoV-2 antigen-expressing cells. Using a tandem mass spectrometry approach, we identified epitopes derived from not only structural but also nonstructural genes in regions highly conserved among SARS-CoV-2 strains, including recently recognized variants. Finally, there are no reported T cell receptor-engineered T cell technology that can redirect T cell specificity to recognize and kill SARS-CoV-2 target cells. We report here several SARS-CoV-2 epitopes defined by mass spectrometric analysis of MHC-eluted peptides, provide empiric evidence for their immunogenicity, and demonstrate engineered TCR-redirected killing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/isolation & purification , Epitopes/isolation & purification , Mass Spectrometry/methods , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Cell Line , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Major Histocompatibility Complex , Peptides , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
15.
Biochemistry (Mosc) ; 86(10): 1275-1287, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1476404

ABSTRACT

A new platform for creating anti-coronavirus epitope vaccines has been developed. Two loop-like epitopes with lengths of 22 and 42 amino acid residues were selected from the receptor-binding motif of the Spike protein from the SARS-CoV-2 virus that participate in a large number of protein-protein interactions in the complexes with ACE2 and neutralizing antibodies. Two types of hybrid proteins, including one of the two selected epitopes, were constructed. To fix conformation of the selected epitopes, an approach using protein scaffolds was used. The homologue of Rop protein from the Escherichia coli ColE1 plasmid containing helix-turn-helix motif was used as an epitope scaffold for the convergence of C- and N-termini of the loop-like epitopes. Loop epitopes were inserted into the turn region. The conformation was additionally fixed by a disulfide bond formed between the cysteine residues present within the epitopes. For the purpose of multimerization, either aldolase from Thermotoga maritima, which forms a trimer in solution, or alpha-helical trimerizer of the Spike protein from SARS-CoV-2, was attached to the epitopes incorporated into the Rop-like protein. To enable purification on the heparin-containing sorbents, a short fragment from the heparin-binding hemagglutinin of Mycobacterium tuberculosis was inserted at the C-terminus of the hybrid proteins. All the obtained proteins demonstrated high level of immunogenicity after triplicate parenteral administration to mice. Sera from the mice immunized with both aldolase-based hybrid proteins and the Spike protein SARS-CoV-2 trimerizer-based protein with a longer epitope interacted with both the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus and the Spike protein receptor-binding domain at high titers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Epitopes , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/isolation & purification , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , Epitopes/isolation & purification , Epitopes/pharmacology , Female , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , Recombinant Proteins/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/pharmacology
17.
Med Hypotheses ; 157: 110706, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1466787

ABSTRACT

SARS-COV-2 infection causes severe respiratory tract illness leading to asphyxia and death. The onset of infection is associated with loss of smell, blurred vision, headache with bronchopulmonary symptoms. The clinical observations of neurological abnormalities lead us to address the question, does the virus enter into brain and what is the underlying mechanism of brain infection? The working hypothesis is, SARS-COV-2 Spike epitopes modify blood brain barrier and infect glial cells to induce brain inflammation in genetically diverse human population. The hypothesis is tested by determining binding or interacting ability of virus Spike epitope peptides M1Lys60 and Ala240Glu300 with human toll-like receptor 8 (TLR 8), brain targeted Vascular Cell adhesion Molecules (VCAM1) proteins, Zonula Occludens (ZO), glial cell specific protein NDRG2 and Apo- S100B. The molecular dynamic experiments are performed, and root mean square deviation (RMSD) values are determined for interactions between the Spike peptides and selected proteins. The observations demonstrate formation of heterodimeric complex between the epitope peptides and selected protein structures. The viral epitopes have ability to bind with HLA-DRB1 15:01, 07:01 or 03.01 alleles thus found immunogenic in nature. The observations altogether suggest entry of these Spike protein epitopes into human brain causes inflammation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Brain/metabolism , Epitopes , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Neuroglia , Peptides , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Toll-Like Receptor 8 , Tumor Suppressor Proteins
18.
Viruses ; 13(10)2021 10 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463832

ABSTRACT

The evolution of mutations in SARS-CoV-2 at antigenic sites that impact neutralizing antibody responses in humans poses a risk to immunity developed through vaccination and natural infection. The highly successful RNA-based vaccines have enabled rapid vaccine updates that incorporate mutations from current variants of concern (VOCs). It is therefore important to anticipate future antigenic mutations as the virus navigates the heterogeneous global landscape of host immunity. Toward this goal, we survey epitope-paratope interfaces of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies to map an antigenic space that captures the role of each spike protein residue within the polyclonal antibody response directed against the ACE2-receptor binding domain (RBD) or the N-terminal domain (NTD). In particular, the antigenic space map builds on recently published epitope definitions by annotating epitope overlap and orthogonality at the residue level. We employ the antigenic space map as a framework to understand how mutations on nine major variants contribute to each variant's evasion of neutralizing antibodies. Further, we identify constellations of mutations that span the orthogonal epitope regions of the RBD and NTD on the variants with the greatest antibody escape. Finally, we apply the antigenic space map to predict which regions of antigenic space-should they mutate-may be most likely to complementarily augment antibody evasion for the most evasive and transmissible VOCs.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Binding Sites, Antibody/immunology , Immune Evasion/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
19.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(19)2021 Oct 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463712

ABSTRACT

Nanomaterials have found extensive interest in the development of novel vaccines, as adjuvants and/or carriers in vaccination platforms. Conjugation of protein antigens at the particle surface by non-covalent adsorption is the most widely used approach in licensed particulate vaccines. Hence, it is essential to understand proteins' structural integrity at the material interface in order to develop safe-by-design nanovaccines. In this study, we utilized two model proteins, the wild-type allergen Bet v 1 and its hypoallergenic fold variant (BM4), to compare SiO2 nanoparticles with Alhydrogel® as particulate systems. A set of biophysical and functional assays including circular dichroism spectroscopy and proteolytic degradation was used to examine the antigens' structural integrity at the material interface. Conjugation of both biomolecules to the particulate systems decreased their proteolytic stability. However, we observed qualitative and quantitative differences in antigen processing concomitant with differences in their fold stability. These changes further led to an alteration in IgE epitope recognition. Here, we propose a toolbox of biophysical and functional in vitro assays for the suitability assessment of nanomaterials in the early stages of vaccine development. These tools will aid in safe-by-design innovations and allow fine-tuning the properties of nanoparticle candidates to shape a specific immune response.


Subject(s)
Allergens/immunology , Antigens, Plant/immunology , Epitopes/immunology , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Silicon Dioxide/chemistry , Vaccines/immunology , Allergens/chemistry , Humans , Hydrogels , Immunoglobulin E/immunology , Respiratory Hypersensitivity/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
20.
Biomolecules ; 11(10)2021 10 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463549

ABSTRACT

Among the more recently identified SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Interest (VOI) is the Lambda variant, which emerged in Peru and has rapidly spread to South American regions and the US. This variant remains poorly investigated, particularly regarding the effects of mutations on the thermodynamic parameters affecting the stability of the Spike protein and its Receptor Binding Domain. We report here an in silico study on the potential impact of the Spike protein mutations on the immuno-escape ability of the Lambda variant. Bioinformatics analysis suggests that a combination of shortening the immunogenic epitope loops and the generation of potential N-glycosylation sites may be a viable adaptation strategy, potentially allowing this emerging viral variant to escape from host immunity.


Subject(s)
Epitopes/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
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