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1.
Nature ; 617(7961): 592-598, 2023 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2249288

ABSTRACT

The primary two-dose SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine series are strongly immunogenic in humans, but the emergence of highly infectious variants necessitated additional doses and the development of vaccines aimed at the new variants1-4. SARS-CoV-2 booster immunizations in humans primarily recruit pre-existing memory B cells5-9. However, it remains unclear whether the additional doses induce germinal centre reactions whereby re-engaged B cells can further mature, and whether variant-derived vaccines can elicit responses to variant-specific epitopes. Here we show that boosting with an mRNA vaccine against the original monovalent SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine or the bivalent B.1.351 and B.1.617.2 (Beta/Delta) mRNA vaccine induced robust spike-specific germinal centre B cell responses in humans. The germinal centre response persisted for at least eight weeks, leading to significantly more mutated antigen-specific bone marrow plasma cell and memory B cell compartments. Spike-binding monoclonal antibodies derived from memory B cells isolated from individuals boosted with either the original SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, bivalent Beta/Delta vaccine or a monovalent Omicron BA.1-based vaccine predominantly recognized the original SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Nonetheless, using a more targeted sorting approach, we isolated monoclonal antibodies that recognized the BA.1 spike protein but not the original SARS-CoV-2 spike protein from individuals who received the mRNA-1273.529 booster; these antibodies were less mutated and recognized novel epitopes within the spike protein, suggesting that they originated from naive B cells. Thus, SARS-CoV-2 booster immunizations in humans induce robust germinal centre B cell responses and can generate de novo B cell responses targeting variant-specific epitopes.


Subject(s)
B-Lymphocytes , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Germinal Center , Immunization, Secondary , Humans , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/cytology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Germinal Center/cytology , Germinal Center/immunology , Plasma Cells/cytology , Plasma Cells/immunology , Memory B Cells/cytology , Memory B Cells/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/genetics , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology
2.
Brief Bioinform ; 24(1)2023 01 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2188253

ABSTRACT

Accurate in silico prediction of conformational B-cell epitopes would lead to major improvements in disease diagnostics, drug design and vaccine development. A variety of computational methods, mainly based on machine learning approaches, have been developed in the last decades to tackle this challenging problem. Here, we rigorously benchmarked nine state-of-the-art conformational B-cell epitope prediction webservers, including generic and antibody-specific methods, on a dataset of over 250 antibody-antigen structures. The results of our assessment and statistical analyses show that all the methods achieve very low performances, and some do not perform better than randomly generated patches of surface residues. In addition, we also found that commonly used consensus strategies that combine the results from multiple webservers are at best only marginally better than random. Finally, we applied all the predictors to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein as an independent case study, and showed that they perform poorly in general, which largely recapitulates our benchmarking conclusions. We hope that these results will lead to greater caution when using these tools until the biases and issues that limit current methods have been addressed, promote the use of state-of-the-art evaluation methodologies in future publications and suggest new strategies to improve the performance of conformational B-cell epitope prediction methods.


Subject(s)
Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Humans , Computational Biology/methods , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
3.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0263582, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1910522

ABSTRACT

The membrane protein M of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV) is the most abundant component of the viral envelope. The M protein plays a central role in the morphogenesis and assembly of the virus through protein interactions of the M-M, M-Spike (S) and M-nucleocapsid (N) type. The M protein is known to induce protective antibodies in pigs and to participate in the antagonistic response of the cellular antiviral system coordinated by the type I and type III interferon pathways. The 3D structure of the PEDV M protein is still unknown. The present work exposes a predicted 3D model of the M protein generated using the Robetta protocol. The M protein model is organized into a transmembrane and a globular region. The obtained 3D model of the PEDV M protein was compared with 3D models of the SARS-CoV-2 M protein created using neural networks and with initial machine learning-based models created using trRosetta. The 3D model of the present study predicted four linear B-cell epitopes (RSVNASSGTG and KHGDYSAVSNPSALT peptides are noteworthy), six discontinuous B-cell epitopes, forty weak binding and fourteen strong binding T-cell epitopes in the CV777 M protein. A high degree of conservation of the epitopes predicted in the PEDV M protein was observed among different PEDV strains isolated in different countries. The data suggest that the M protein could be a potential candidate for the development of new treatments or strategies that activate protective cellular mechanisms against viral diseases.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coronavirus M Proteins/chemistry , Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus/chemistry , Swine Diseases/virology , Swine/virology , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Coronavirus M Proteins/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Models, Molecular , Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus/immunology , Protein Conformation , Swine Diseases/immunology
4.
Nature ; 608(7923): 593-602, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1900499

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron sublineages BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 exhibit higher transmissibility than the BA.2 lineage1. The receptor binding and immune-evasion capability of these recently emerged variants require immediate investigation. Here, coupled with structural comparisons of the spike proteins, we show that BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 (BA.4 and BA.5 are hereafter referred collectively to as BA.4/BA.5) exhibit similar binding affinities to BA.2 for the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. Of note, BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5 display increased evasion of neutralizing antibodies compared with BA.2 against plasma from triple-vaccinated individuals or from individuals who developed a BA.1 infection after vaccination. To delineate the underlying antibody-evasion mechanism, we determined the escape mutation profiles2, epitope distribution3 and Omicron-neutralization efficiency of 1,640 neutralizing antibodies directed against the receptor-binding domain of the viral spike protein, including 614 antibodies isolated from people who had recovered from BA.1 infection. BA.1 infection after vaccination predominantly recalls humoral immune memory directed against ancestral (hereafter referred to as wild-type (WT)) SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The resulting elicited antibodies could neutralize both WT SARS-CoV-2 and BA.1 and are enriched on epitopes on spike that do not bind ACE2. However, most of these cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies are evaded by spike mutants L452Q, L452R and F486V. BA.1 infection can also induce new clones of BA.1-specific antibodies that potently neutralize BA.1. Nevertheless, these neutralizing antibodies are largely evaded by BA.2 and BA.4/BA.5 owing to D405N and F486V mutations, and react weakly to pre-Omicron variants, exhibiting narrow neutralization breadths. The therapeutic neutralizing antibodies bebtelovimab4 and cilgavimab5 can effectively neutralize BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5, whereas the S371F, D405N and R408S mutations undermine most broadly sarbecovirus-neutralizing antibodies. Together, our results indicate that Omicron may evolve mutations to evade the humoral immunity elicited by BA.1 infection, suggesting that BA.1-derived vaccine boosters may not achieve broad-spectrum protection against new Omicron variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral , Antigenic Drift and Shift , COVID-19 , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte , Immune Tolerance , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigenic Drift and Shift/genetics , Antigenic Drift and Shift/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/genetics , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Immunization, Secondary , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
5.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(6)2022 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742485

ABSTRACT

The B and T lymphocytes of the adaptive immune system are important for the control of most viral infections, including COVID-19. Identification of epitopes recognized by these cells is fundamental for understanding how the immune system detects and removes pathogens, and for antiviral vaccine design. Intriguingly, several cross-reactive T lymphocyte epitopes from SARS-CoV-2 with other betacoronaviruses responsible for the common cold have been identified. In addition, antibodies that cross-recognize the spike protein, but not the nucleoprotein (N protein), from different betacoronavirus have also been reported. Using a consensus of eight bioinformatic methods for predicting B-cell epitopes and the collection of experimentally detected epitopes for SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, we identified four surface-exposed, conserved, and hypothetical antigenic regions that are exclusive of the N protein. These regions were analyzed using ELISA assays with two cohorts: SARS-CoV-2 infected patients and pre-COVID-19 samples. Here we describe four epitopes from SARS-CoV-2 N protein that are recognized by the humoral response from multiple individuals infected with COVID-19, and are conserved in other human coronaviruses. Three of these linear surface-exposed sequences and their peptide homologs in SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV-OC43 were also recognized by antibodies from pre-COVID-19 serum samples, indicating cross-reactivity of antibodies against coronavirus N proteins. Different conserved human coronaviruses (HCoVs) cross-reactive B epitopes against SARS-CoV-2 N protein are detected in a significant fraction of individuals not exposed to this pandemic virus. These results have potential clinical implications.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/immunology , Cross Reactions/immunology , Epitope Mapping/methods , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Amino Acid Sequence , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus OC43, Human/genetics , Coronavirus OC43, Human/physiology , Cross Reactions/genetics , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
6.
Nature ; 602(7898): 664-670, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616991

ABSTRACT

The recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant encodes 37 amino acid substitutions in the spike protein, 15 of which are in the receptor-binding domain (RBD), thereby raising concerns about the effectiveness of available vaccines and antibody-based therapeutics. Here we show that the Omicron RBD binds to human ACE2 with enhanced affinity, relative to the Wuhan-Hu-1 RBD, and binds to mouse ACE2. Marked reductions in neutralizing activity were observed against Omicron compared to the ancestral pseudovirus in plasma from convalescent individuals and from individuals who had been vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, but this loss was less pronounced after a third dose of vaccine. Most monoclonal antibodies that are directed against the receptor-binding motif lost in vitro neutralizing activity against Omicron, with only 3 out of 29 monoclonal antibodies retaining unaltered potency, including the ACE2-mimicking S2K146 antibody1. Furthermore, a fraction of broadly neutralizing sarbecovirus monoclonal antibodies neutralized Omicron through recognition of antigenic sites outside the receptor-binding motif, including sotrovimab2, S2X2593 and S2H974. The magnitude of Omicron-mediated immune evasion marks a major antigenic shift in SARS-CoV-2. Broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies that recognize RBD epitopes that are conserved among SARS-CoV-2 variants and other sarbecoviruses may prove key to controlling the ongoing pandemic and future zoonotic spillovers.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigenic Drift and Shift/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/immunology , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigenic Drift and Shift/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cell Line , Convalescence , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Immune Evasion , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vesiculovirus/genetics
7.
Nature ; 602(7898): 657-663, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616990

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant contains 15 mutations of the receptor-binding domain (RBD). How Omicron evades RBD-targeted neutralizing antibodies requires immediate investigation. Here we use high-throughput yeast display screening1,2 to determine the profiles of RBD escaping mutations for 247 human anti-RBD neutralizing antibodies and show that the neutralizing antibodies can be classified by unsupervised clustering into six epitope groups (A-F)-a grouping that is highly concordant with knowledge-based structural classifications3-5. Various single mutations of Omicron can impair neutralizing antibodies of different epitope groups. Specifically, neutralizing antibodies in groups A-D, the epitopes of which overlap with the ACE2-binding motif, are largely escaped by K417N, G446S, E484A and Q493R. Antibodies in group E (for example, S309)6 and group F (for example, CR3022)7, which often exhibit broad sarbecovirus neutralizing activity, are less affected by Omicron, but a subset of neutralizing antibodies are still escaped by G339D, N440K and S371L. Furthermore, Omicron pseudovirus neutralization showed that neutralizing antibodies that sustained single mutations could also be escaped, owing to multiple synergetic mutations on their epitopes. In total, over 85% of the tested neutralizing antibodies were escaped by Omicron. With regard to neutralizing-antibody-based drugs, the neutralization potency of LY-CoV016, LY-CoV555, REGN10933, REGN10987, AZD1061, AZD8895 and BRII-196 was greatly undermined by Omicron, whereas VIR-7831 and DXP-604 still functioned at a reduced efficacy. Together, our data suggest that infection with Omicron would result in considerable humoral immune evasion, and that neutralizing antibodies targeting the sarbecovirus conserved region will remain most effective. Our results inform the development of antibody-based drugs and vaccines against Omicron and future variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Immune Evasion/immunology , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/classification , Antibodies, Viral/classification , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cells, Cultured , Convalescence , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Immune Sera/immunology , Models, Molecular , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
8.
J Immunol Methods ; 502: 113216, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1611844

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) represents a new global threat demanding a multidisciplinary effort to fight its etiological agent-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). In this regard, immunoinformatics may aid to predict prominent immunogenic regions from critical SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins, such as the spike (S) glycoprotein, for their use in prophylactic or therapeutic interventions against this highly pathogenic betacoronavirus. Accordingly, in this study, an integrated immunoinformatics approach was applied to identify cytotoxic T cell (CTC), T helper cell (THC), and Linear B cell (BC) epitopes from the S glycoprotein in an attempt to design a high-quality multi-epitope vaccine. The best CTC, THC, and BC epitopes showed high viral antigenicity and lack of allergenic or toxic residues, as well as CTC and THC epitopes showed suitable interactions with HLA class I (HLA-I) and HLA class II (HLA-II) molecules, respectively. Remarkably, SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) and its receptor-binding motif (RBM) harbour several potential epitopes. The structure prediction, refinement, and validation data indicate that the multi-epitope vaccine has an appropriate conformation and stability. Four conformational epitopes and an efficient binding between Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and the vaccine model were observed. Importantly, the population coverage analysis showed that the multi-epitope vaccine could be used globally. Notably, computer-based simulations suggest that the vaccine model has a robust potential to evoke and maximize both immune effector responses and immunological memory to SARS-CoV-2. Further research is needed to accomplish with the mandatory international guidelines for human vaccine formulations.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , Antigens, Viral/genetics , Antigens, Viral/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Computational Biology , Computer Simulation , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/genetics , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/genetics , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/genetics , Immunologic Memory , Protein Domains/genetics , Protein Domains/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic , Toll-Like Receptor 4/metabolism , Vaccine Development/methods , Vaccines, Subunit/genetics , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/therapeutic use
9.
Brief Bioinform ; 23(1)2022 01 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1598089

ABSTRACT

The current global pandemic due to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has taken a substantial number of lives across the world. Although few vaccines have been rolled-out, a number of vaccine candidates are still under clinical trials at various pharmaceutical companies and laboratories around the world. Considering the intrinsic nature of viruses in mutating and evolving over time, persistent efforts are needed to develop better vaccine candidates. In this study, various immuno-informatics tools and bioinformatics databases were deployed to derive consensus B-cell and T-cell epitope sequences of SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein. This approach has identified four potential epitopes which have the capability to initiate both antibody and cell-mediated immune responses, are non-allergenic and do not trigger autoimmunity. These peptide sequences were also evaluated to show 99.82% of global population coverage based on the genotypic frequencies of HLA binding alleles for both MHC class-I and class-II and are unique for SARS-CoV-2 isolated from human as a host species. Epitope number 2 alone had a global population coverage of 98.2%. Therefore, we further validated binding and interaction of its constituent T-cell epitopes with their corresponding HLA proteins using molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulation experiments, followed by binding free energy calculations with molecular mechanics Poisson-Boltzmann surface area, essential dynamics analysis and free energy landscape analysis. The immuno-informatics pipeline described and the candidate epitopes discovered herein could have significant impact upon efforts to develop globally effective SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte , Molecular Docking Simulation , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/chemistry , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology
10.
Front Immunol ; 12: 789905, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581321

ABSTRACT

Facing the imminent need for vaccine candidates with cross-protection against globally circulating severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) mutants, we present a conserved antigenic peptide RBD9.1 with both T-cell and B-cell epitopes. RBD9.1 can be recognized by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) convalescent serum, particularly for those with high neutralizing potency. Immunization with RBD9.1 can successfully induce the production of the receptor-binding domain (RBD)-specific antibodies in Balb/c mice. Importantly, the immunized sera exhibit sustained neutralizing efficacy against multiple dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant strains, including B.1.617.2 that carries a point mutation (SL452R) within the sequence of RBD9.1. Specifically, SY451 and SY454 are identified as the key amino acids for the binding of the induced RBD-specific antibodies to RBD9.1. Furthermore, we have confirmed that the RBD9.1 antigenic peptide can induce a S448-456 (NYNYLYRLF)-specific CD8+ T-cell response. Both RBD9.1-specific B cells and the S448-456-specific T cells can still be activated more than 3 months post the last immunization. This study provides a potential vaccine candidate that can generate long-term protective efficacy over SARS-CoV-2 variants, with the unique functional mechanism of activating both humoral and cellular immunity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunity, Cellular/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology
11.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0258645, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518355

ABSTRACT

All approved coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines in current use are safe, effective, and reduce the risk of severe illness. Although data on the immunological presentation of patients with COVID-19 is limited, increasing experimental evidence supports the significant contribution of B and T cells towards the resolution of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Despite the availability of several COVID-19 vaccines with high efficacy, more effective vaccines are still needed to protect against the new variants of SARS-CoV-2. Employing a comprehensive immunoinformatic prediction algorithm and leveraging the genetic closeness with SARS-CoV, we have predicted potential immune epitopes in the structural proteins of SARS-CoV-2. The S and N proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoVs are main targets of antibody detection and have motivated us to design four multi-epitope vaccines which were based on our predicted B- and T-cell epitopes of SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins. The cardinal epitopes selected for the vaccine constructs are predicted to possess antigenic, non-allergenic, and cytokine-inducing properties. Additionally, some of the predicted epitopes have been experimentally validated in published papers. Furthermore, we used the C-ImmSim server to predict effective immune responses induced by the epitope-based vaccines. Taken together, the immune epitopes predicted in this study provide a platform for future experimental validations which may facilitate the development of effective vaccine candidates and epitope-based serological diagnostic assays.


Subject(s)
Computational Biology , Epitope Mapping , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Structural Proteins/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Databases as Topic , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/metabolism , Humans , Models, Molecular , Protein Conformation , Reproducibility of Results , Viral Structural Proteins/chemistry
12.
Biologicals ; 75: 29-36, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1517058

ABSTRACT

The RNA dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) plays crucial role in virus life cycle by replicating the viral genome. The SARS-CoV-2 is an RNA virus that rapidly spread worldwide and acquired mutations. This study was carried out to identify mutations in RdRp as the SARS-CoV-2 spread in India. We compared 50217 RdRp sequences reported from India with the first reported RdRp sequence from Wuhan, China to identify 223 mutations acquired among Indian isolates. Our protein modelling study revealed that several mutants can potentially alter stability and flexibility of RdRp. We predicted the potential B cell epitopes contributed by RdRp and identified thirty-six linear continuous and twenty-five discontinuous epitopes. Among 223 RdRp mutants, 44% of them localises in the B cell epitopes region. Altogether, this study highlights the need to identify and characterize the variations in RdRp to understand the impact of these mutations on SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , Enzyme Stability/genetics , Humans , India , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
13.
Cells ; 10(11)2021 11 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502369

ABSTRACT

During the current era of the COVID-19 pandemic, the dissemination of Mucorales has been reported globally, with elevated rates of infection in India, and because of the high rate of mortality and morbidity, designing an effective vaccine against mucormycosis is a major health priority, especially for immunocompromised patients. In the current study, we studied shared Mucorales proteins, which have been reported as virulence factors, and after analysis of several virulent proteins for their antigenicity and subcellular localization, we selected spore coat (CotH) and serine protease (SP) proteins as the targets of epitope mapping. The current study proposes a vaccine constructed based on top-ranking cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL), helper T lymphocyte (HTL), and B cell lymphocyte (BCL) epitopes from filtered proteins. In addition to the selected epitopes, ß-defensins adjuvant and PADRE peptide were included in the constructed vaccine to improve the stimulated immune response. Computational tools were used to estimate the physicochemical and immunological features of the proposed vaccine and validate its binding with TLR-2, where the output data of these assessments potentiate the probability of the constructed vaccine to stimulate a specific immune response against mucormycosis. Here, we demonstrate the approach of potential vaccine construction and assessment through computational tools, and to the best of our knowledge, this is the first study of a proposed vaccine against mucormycosis based on the immunoinformatics approach.


Subject(s)
Fungal Vaccines/chemistry , Fungal Vaccines/immunology , Mucormycosis/prevention & control , Rhizopus/immunology , Adjuvants, Immunologic , Antigens, Fungal/immunology , Computational Biology , Cross Reactions , Epitope Mapping , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Models, Molecular , Mucorales/immunology , Protein Conformation , Toll-Like Receptor 2/chemistry , Vaccines, Subunit/chemistry , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology
14.
Nature ; 600(7889): 530-535, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475311

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants is jeopardizing the effectiveness of current vaccines and limiting the application of monoclonal antibody-based therapy for COVID-19 (refs. 1,2). Here we analysed the memory B cells of five naive and five convalescent people vaccinated with the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine to investigate the nature of the B cell and antibody response at the single-cell level. Almost 6,000 cells were sorted, over 3,000 cells produced monoclonal antibodies against the spike protein and more than 400 cells neutralized the original SARS-CoV-2 virus first identified in Wuhan, China. The B.1.351 (Beta) and B.1.1.248 (Gamma) variants escaped almost 70% of these antibodies, while a much smaller portion was impacted by the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) and B.1.617.2 (Delta) variants. The overall loss of neutralization was always significantly higher in the antibodies from naive people. In part, this was due to the IGHV2-5;IGHJ4-1 germline, which was found only in people who were convalescent and generated potent and broadly neutralizing antibodies. Our data suggest that people who are seropositive following infection or primary vaccination will produce antibodies with increased potency and breadth and will be able to better control emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/immunology , Memory B Cells/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , BNT162 Vaccine/administration & dosage , BNT162 Vaccine/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/genetics , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/isolation & purification , Convalescence , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Neutralization Tests , Seroconversion , Single-Cell Analysis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
15.
Molecules ; 26(20)2021 Oct 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470934

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)) has caused relatively high mortality rates in humans throughout the world since its first detection in late December 2019, leading to the most devastating pandemic of the current century. Consequently, SARS-CoV-2 therapeutic interventions have received high priority from public health authorities. Despite increased COVID-19 infections, a vaccine or therapy to cover all the population is not yet available. Herein, immunoinformatics and custommune tools were used to identify B and T-cells epitopes from the available SARS-CoV-2 sequences spike (S) protein. In the in silico predictions, six B cell epitopes QTGKIADYNYK, TEIYQASTPCNGVEG, LQSYGFQPT, IRGDEVRQIAPGQTGKIADYNYKLPD, FSQILPDPSKPSKRS and PFAMQMAYRFNG were cross-reacted with MHC-I and MHC-II T-cells binding epitopes and selected for vaccination in experimental animals for evaluation as candidate vaccine(s) due to their high antigenic matching and conserved score. The selected six peptides were used individually or in combinations to immunize female Balb/c mice. The immunized mice raised reactive antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in two different short peptides located in receptor binding domain and S2 region. In combination groups, an additive effect was demonstrated in-comparison with single peptide immunized mice. This study provides novel epitope-based peptide vaccine candidates against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , COVID-19/prevention & control , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/metabolism , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/metabolism , Female , Humans , Immunization , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Peptides/chemistry , Peptides/immunology , Peptides/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
16.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 20383, 2021 10 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1469988

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 continues to infect an ever-expanding number of people, resulting in an increase in the number of deaths globally. With the emergence of new variants, there is a corresponding decrease in the currently available vaccine efficacy, highlighting the need for greater insights into the viral epitope profile for both vaccine design and assessment. In this study, three immunodominant linear B cell epitopes in the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) were identified by immunoinformatics prediction, and confirmed by ELISA with sera from Macaca fascicularis vaccinated with a SARS-CoV-2 RBD subunit vaccine. Further immunoinformatics analyses of these three epitopes gave rise to a method of linear B cell epitope prediction and selection. B cell epitopes in the spike (S), membrane (M), and envelope (E) proteins were subsequently predicted and confirmed using convalescent sera from COVID-19 infected patients. Immunodominant epitopes were identified in three regions of the S2 domain, one region at the S1/S2 cleavage site and one region at the C-terminus of the M protein. Epitope mapping revealed that most of the amino acid changes found in variants of concern are located within B cell epitopes in the NTD, RBD, and S1/S2 cleavage site. This work provides insights into B cell epitopes of SARS-CoV-2 as well as immunoinformatics methods for B cell epitope prediction, which will improve and enhance SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development against emergent variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Matrix Proteins/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Computational Biology , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/chemistry , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Humans , Immunoassay , Immunodominant Epitopes/chemistry , Macaca , Models, Molecular , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Viral Matrix Proteins/chemistry
17.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 50(D1): D771-D776, 2022 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467380

ABSTRACT

Ever since the breakout of COVID-19 disease, ceaseless genomic research to inspect the epidemiology and evolution of the pathogen has been undertaken globally. Large scale viral genome sequencing and analysis have uncovered the functional impact of numerous genetic variants in disease pathogenesis and transmission. Emerging evidence of mutations in spike protein domains escaping antibody neutralization is reported. We have built a database with precise collation of manually curated variants in SARS-CoV-2 from literature with potential escape mechanisms from a range of neutralizing antibodies. This comprehensive repository encompasses a total of 5258 variants accounting for 2068 unique variants tested against 230 antibodies, patient convalescent plasma and vaccine breakthrough events. This resource enables the user to gain access to an extensive annotation of SARS-CoV-2 escape variants which would contribute to exploring and understanding the underlying mechanisms of immune response against the pathogen. The resource is available at http://clingen.igib.res.in/esc/.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Databases, Factual , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Genetic Variation , Humans , Immune Evasion , Immunization, Passive , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , User-Computer Interface , COVID-19 Serotherapy
18.
Cell Rep ; 37(4): 109881, 2021 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1458602

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has necessitated the rapid development of antibody-based therapies and vaccines as countermeasures. Here, we use cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) to characterize two protective anti-SARS-CoV-2 murine monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) in complex with the spike protein, revealing similarities between epitopes targeted by human and murine B cells. The more neutralizing mAb, 2B04, binds the receptor-binding motif (RBM) of the receptor-binding domain (RBD) and competes with angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). By contrast, 2H04 binds adjacent to the RBM and does not compete for ACE2 binding. Naturally occurring sequence variants of SARS-CoV-2 and corresponding neutralization escape variants selected in vitro map to our structurally defined epitopes, suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 might evade therapeutic antibodies with a limited set of mutations, underscoring the importance of combination mAb therapeutics. Finally, we show that 2B04 neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 infection by preventing ACE2 engagement, whereas 2H04 reduces host cell attachment without directly disrupting ACE2-RBM interactions, providing distinct inhibitory mechanisms used by RBD-specific mAbs.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Mice , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/immunology , Protein Structure, Quaternary , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
19.
Biomed Res Int ; 2021: 7251119, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455778

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: B.1.617.1, a variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) causing respiratory illness is responsible for the second wave of COVID-19 and associated with a high incidence of infectivity and mortality. To mitigate the B.1.617.1 variant of SARS-CoV-2, deciphering the protein structure and immunological responses by employing bioinformatics tools for data mining and analysis is pivotal. OBJECTIVES: Here, an in silico approach was employed for deciphering the structure and immune function of the subunit of spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.1 variant. METHODS: The partial amino acid sequence of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.1 variant S protein was analyzed, and its putative secondary and tertiary structure was predicted. Immunogenic analyses including B- and T-cell epitopes, interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) response, chemokine, and protective antigens for SARS-CoV 2 S proteins were predicted using appropriate tools. RESULTS: B.1.617.1 variant S protein sequence was found to be highly stable and amphipathic. ABCpred and CTLpred analyses led to the identification of two potential antigenic B cell and T cell epitopes with starting amino acid positions at 60 and 82 (for B cell epitopes) and 54 and 98 (for T cell epitopes) having prediction scores > 0.8. Further, RAMPAGE tool was used for determining the allowed and disallowed regions of the three-dimensional predicted structure of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.1 variant S protein. CONCLUSION: Together, the in silico analysis revealed the predicted structure of partial S protein, immunogenic properties, and possible regions for S protein of SARS-CoV-2 and provides a valuable prelude for engineering the targeted vaccine or drug against B.1.617.1 variant of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Algorithms , Amino Acid Sequence , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , Computational Biology/methods , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Protein Binding , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Structure-Activity Relationship , Viral Vaccines/immunology
20.
Nature ; 600(7889): 517-522, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1454790

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection produces B cell responses that continue to evolve for at least a year. During that time, memory B cells express increasingly broad and potent antibodies that are resistant to mutations found in variants of concern1. As a result, vaccination of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) convalescent individuals with currently available mRNA vaccines produces high levels of plasma neutralizing activity against all variants tested1,2. Here we examine memory B cell evolution five months after vaccination with either Moderna (mRNA-1273) or Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2) mRNA vaccine in a cohort of SARS-CoV-2-naive individuals. Between prime and boost, memory B cells produce antibodies that evolve increased neutralizing activity, but there is no further increase in potency or breadth thereafter. Instead, memory B cells that emerge five months after vaccination of naive individuals express antibodies that are similar to those that dominate the initial response. While individual memory antibodies selected over time by natural infection have greater potency and breadth than antibodies elicited by vaccination, the overall neutralizing potency of plasma is greater following vaccination. These results suggest that boosting vaccinated individuals with currently available mRNA vaccines will increase plasma neutralizing activity but may not produce antibodies with equivalent breadth to those obtained by vaccinating convalescent individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Evolution, Molecular , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , mRNA Vaccines/immunology , 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Affinity , BNT162 Vaccine/immunology , Cohort Studies , Cross Reactions , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Memory B Cells/immunology , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Protein Domains/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Young Adult
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