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1.
Arch Microbiol ; 204(5): 242, 2022 Apr 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1772889

ABSTRACT

The novel virus "severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)" has been responsible for the worldwide pandemic causing huge devastation and deaths since December 2019. The disease caused by this virus is known as COVID-19. The present study is based on immuno-informatics approach to develop a multi-epitope-loaded peptide vaccine to combat the COVID-19 menace. Here, we have reported the 9-mer CD8 T cell epitopes and 15-mer CD4 T cell epitopes, free from glycosylation sites, belonging to three proteins, viz. surface glycoprotein, membrane glycoprotein and envelope protein of this virus. Immunogenicity, aliphatic amino acid, antigenicity and hydrophilicity scores of the predicted epitopes were estimated. In addition, other physicochemical parameters, namely net charge, Boman index and amino acid contents, were also accounted. Out of all the epitopes, three CD8 T cell epitopes viz. PDPSKPSKR, DPSKPSKRS and QTQTNSPRR and three CD4 T cell epitopes viz. ASYQTQTNSPRRARS, RIGNYKLNTDHSSSS and RYRIGNYKLNTDHSS were found to be efficient targets for raising immunity in human against this virus. With the help of our identified potent epitopes, various pharma industries might initiate efforts to incorporate those epitopes with carrier protein or adjuvant to develop a multi-epitope-loaded peptide vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. The peptide vaccines are usually cost-effective and therefore, could be administered as a preventive measure to combat the spread of this disease. Proper clinical trials must be conducted prior to the use of identified epitopes as vaccine candidates.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccines, Subunit
2.
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(1): e0278021, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1700612

ABSTRACT

Understanding the immune response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is critical to overcome the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Efforts are being made to understand the potential cross-protective immunity of memory T cells, induced by prior encounters with seasonal coronaviruses, in providing protection against severe COVID-19. In this study we assessed T-cell responses directed against highly conserved regions of SARS-CoV-2. Epitope mapping revealed 16 CD8+ T-cell epitopes across the nucleocapsid (N), spike (S), and open reading frame (ORF)3a proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and five CD8+ T-cell epitopes encoded within the highly conserved regions of the ORF1ab polyprotein of SARS-CoV-2. Comparative sequence analysis showed high conservation of SARS-CoV-2 ORF1ab T-cell epitopes in seasonal coronaviruses. Paradoxically, the immune responses directed against the conserved ORF1ab epitopes were infrequent and subdominant in both convalescent and unexposed participants. This subdominant immune response was consistent with a low abundance of ORF1ab encoded proteins in SARS-CoV-2 infected cells. Overall, these observations suggest that while cross-reactive CD8+ T cells likely exist in unexposed individuals, they are not common and therefore are unlikely to play a significant role in providing broad preexisting immunity in the community. IMPORTANCE T cells play a critical role in protection against SARS-CoV-2. Despite being highly topical, the protective role of preexisting memory CD8+ T cells, induced by prior exposure to circulating common coronavirus strains, remains less clear. In this study, we established a robust approach to specifically assess T cell responses to highly conserved regions within SARS-CoV-2. Consistent with recent observations we demonstrate that recognition of these highly conserved regions is associated with an increased likelihood of milder disease. However, extending these observations we observed that recognition of these conserved regions is rare in both exposed and unexposed volunteers, which we believe is associated with the low abundance of these proteins in SARS-CoV-2 infected cells. These observations have important implications for the likely role preexisting immunity plays in controlling severe disease, further emphasizing the importance of vaccination to generate the immunodominant T cells required for immune protection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Conserved Sequence , Coronavirus/chemistry , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cross Reactions , Epitope Mapping , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/genetics , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sequence Alignment , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
3.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0263582, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1677590

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.
Front Immunol ; 12: 764949, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674330

ABSTRACT

We identified SARS-CoV-2 specific antigen epitopes by HLA-A2 binding affinity analysis and characterized their ability to activate T cells. As the pandemic continues, variations in SARS-CoV-2 virus strains have been found in many countries. In this study, we directly assess the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 epitope variants. We first predicted potential HLA-A*02:01-restricted CD8+ T-cell epitopes of SARS-CoV-2. Using the T2 cell model, HLA-A*02:01-restricted T-cell epitopes were screened for their binding affinity and ability to activate T cells. Subsequently, we examined the identified epitope variations and analyzed their impact on immune response. Here, we identified specific HLA-A2-restricted T-cell epitopes in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. Seven epitope peptides were confirmed to bind with HLA-A*02:01 and potentially be presented by antigen-presenting cells to induce host immune responses. Tetramers containing these peptides could interact with specific CD8+ T cells from convalescent COVID-19 patients, and one dominant epitope (n-Sp1) was defined. These epitopes could activate and generate epitope-specific T cells in vitro, and those activated T cells showed cytolytic activity toward target cells. Meanwhile, n-Sp1 epitope variant 5L>F significantly decreased the proportion of specific T-cell activation; n-Sp1 epitope 8L>V variant showed significantly reduced binding to HLA-A*02:01 and decreased proportion of n-Sp1-specific CD8+ T cell, which potentially contributes to the immune escape of SARS-CoV-2. Our data indicate that the variation of a dominant epitope will cause the deficiency of HLA-A*02:01 binding and T-cell activation, which subsequently requires the formation of a new CD8+ T-cell immune response in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , HLA-A2 Antigen/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Amino Acid Sequence , Antigen Presentation , Antigenic Variation , COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/genetics , Female , Humans , Immune Evasion , Lymphocyte Activation , Male , Middle Aged , Molecular Docking Simulation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
5.
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
6.
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
7.
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
8.
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
9.
Cells ; 10(10)2021 10 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1444119

ABSTRACT

The data currently available on how the immune system recognises the SARS-CoV-2 virus is growing rapidly. While there are structures of some SARS-CoV-2 proteins in complex with antibodies, which helps us understand how the immune system is able to recognise this new virus; however, we lack data on how T cells are able to recognise this virus. T cells, especially the cytotoxic CD8+ T cells, are critical for viral recognition and clearance. Here we report the X-ray crystallography structure of a T cell receptor, shared among unrelated individuals (public TCR) in complex with a dominant spike-derived CD8+ T cell epitope (YLQ peptide). We show that YLQ activates a polyfunctional CD8+ T cell response in COVID-19 recovered patients. We detail the molecular basis for the shared TCR gene usage observed in HLA-A*02:01+ individuals, providing an understanding of TCR recognition towards a SARS-CoV-2 epitope. Interestingly, the YLQ peptide conformation did not change upon TCR binding, facilitating the high-affinity interaction observed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , HLA-A2 Antigen/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/cytology , Crystallography, X-Ray , Cytokines/metabolism , Epitopes/chemistry , HLA-A2 Antigen/chemistry , Humans , Mutation , Peptides/chemistry , Protein Binding , Protein Denaturation , Protein Folding , Surface Plasmon Resonance , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology
10.
Immunogenetics ; 73(6): 459-477, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1427234

ABSTRACT

Since 2019, the world was involved with SARS-CoV-2 and consequently, with the announcement by the World Health Organization that COVID-19 was a pandemic, scientific were an effort to obtain the best approach to combat this global dilemma. The best way to prevent the pandemic from spreading further is to use a vaccine against COVID-19. Here, we report the design of a recombinant multi-epitope vaccine against the four proteins spike or crown (S), membrane (M), nucleocapsid (N), and envelope (E) of SARS-CoV-2 using immunoinformatics tools. We evaluated the most antigenic epitopes that bind to HLA class 1 subtypes, along with HLA class 2, as well as B cell epitopes. Beta-defensin 3 and PADRE sequence were used as adjuvants in the structure of the vaccine. KK, GPGPG, and AAY linkers were used to fuse the selected epitopes. The nucleotide sequence was cloned into pET26b(+) vector using restriction enzymes XhoI and NdeI, and HisTag sequence was considered in the C-terminal of the construct. The results showed that the proposed candidate vaccine is a 70.87 kDa protein with high antigenicity and immunogenicity as well as non-allergenic and non-toxic. A total of 95% of the selected epitopes have conservancy with similar sequences. Molecular docking showed a strong binding between the vaccine structure and tool-like receptor (TLR) 7/8. The docking, molecular dynamics, and MM/PBSA analysis showed that the vaccine established a stable interaction with both structures of TLR7 and TLR8. Simulation of immune stimulation by this vaccine showed that it evokes immune responses related to humoral and cellular immunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , Base Sequence , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/metabolism , Computational Biology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/genetics , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/genetics , HLA Antigens/immunology , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Molecular Weight , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/immunology , Toll-Like Receptor 7/chemistry , Toll-Like Receptor 8/chemistry , Vaccines, Subunit/genetics , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/metabolism , Vaccinology , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/immunology
11.
BMC Bioinformatics ; 21(Suppl 17): 484, 2020 Dec 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388725

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We previously introduced PCPS (Proteasome Cleavage Prediction Server), a web-based tool to predict proteasome cleavage sites using n-grams. Here, we evaluated the ability of PCPS immunoproteasome cleavage model to discriminate CD8+ T cell epitopes. RESULTS: We first assembled an epitope dataset consisting of 844 unique virus-specific CD8+ T cell epitopes and their source proteins. We then analyzed cleavage predictions by PCPS immunoproteasome cleavage model on this dataset and compared them with those provided by a related method implemented by NetChop web server. PCPS was clearly superior to NetChop in term of sensitivity (0.89 vs. 0.79) but somewhat inferior with regard to specificity (0.55 vs. 0.60). Judging by the Mathew's Correlation Coefficient, PCPS predictions were overall superior to those provided by NetChop (0.46 vs. 0.39). We next analyzed the power of C-terminal cleavage predictions provided by the same PCPS model to discriminate CD8+ T cell epitopes, finding that they could be discriminated from random peptides with an accuracy of 0.74. Following these results, we tuned the PCPS web server to predict CD8+ T cell epitopes and predicted the entire SARS-CoV-2 epitope space. CONCLUSIONS: We report an improved version of PCPS named iPCPS for predicting proteasome cleavage sites and peptides with CD8+ T cell epitope features. iPCPS is available for free public use at https://imed.med.ucm.es/Tools/pcps/ .


Subject(s)
Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte , Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex/metabolism , Proteomics/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Proteins , COVID-19/virology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/metabolism , Humans , Peptides/chemistry , Peptides/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Software , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/metabolism
12.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 17234, 2021 08 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376209

ABSTRACT

Over the past two decades, there has been a great interest in the study of HLA-E-restricted αß T cells during bacterial and viral infections, including recently SARS-CoV-2 infection. Phenotyping of these specific HLA-E-restricted T cells requires new tools such as tetramers for rapid cell staining or sorting, as well as for the identification of new peptides capable to bind to the HLA-E pocket. To this aim, we have developed an optimal photosensitive peptide to generate stable HLA-E/pUV complexes allowing high-throughput production of new HLA-E/peptide complexes by peptide exchange. We characterized the UV exchange by ELISA and improved the peptide exchange readout using size exclusion chromatography. This novel approach for complex quantification is indeed very important to perform tetramerization of MHC/peptide complexes with the high quality required for detection of specific T cells. Our approach allows the rapid screening of peptides capable of binding to the non-classical human HLA-E allele, paving the way for the development of new therapeutic approaches based on the detection of HLA-E-restricted T cells.


Subject(s)
Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/chemistry , Major Histocompatibility Complex/immunology , Peptides/chemistry , Amino Acid Sequence , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/immunology , Humans , Immunologic Techniques , Photochemical Processes , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology
13.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4699, 2021 08 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1358351

ABSTRACT

Similarity in T-cell receptor (TCR) sequences implies shared antigen specificity between receptors, and could be used to discover novel therapeutic targets. However, existing methods that cluster T-cell receptor sequences by similarity are computationally inefficient, making them impractical to use on the ever-expanding datasets of the immune repertoire. Here, we developed GIANA (Geometric Isometry-based TCR AligNment Algorithm) a computationally efficient tool for this task that provides the same level of clustering specificity as TCRdist at 600 times its speed, and without sacrificing accuracy. GIANA also allows the rapid query of large reference cohorts within minutes. Using GIANA to cluster large-scale TCR datasets provides candidate disease-specific receptors, and provides a new solution to repertoire classification. Querying unseen TCR-seq samples against an existing reference differentiates samples from patients across various cohorts associated with cancer, infectious and autoimmune disease. Our results demonstrate how GIANA could be used as the basis for a TCR-based non-invasive multi-disease diagnostic platform.


Subject(s)
Algorithms , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/classification , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , Cluster Analysis , Complementarity Determining Regions/chemistry , Complementarity Determining Regions/immunology , Diagnosis, Differential , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Multiple Sclerosis/diagnosis , Multiple Sclerosis/immunology , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Neoplasms/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/chemistry , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Alignment
14.
Brief Bioinform ; 22(2): 1309-1323, 2021 03 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1352112

ABSTRACT

The recurrent and recent global outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has turned into a global concern which has infected more than 42 million people all over the globe, and this number is increasing in hours. Unfortunately, no vaccine or specific treatment is available, which makes it more deadly. A vaccine-informatics approach has shown significant breakthrough in peptide-based epitope mapping and opens the new horizon in vaccine development. In this study, we have identified a total of 15 antigenic peptides [including thymus cells (T-cells) and bone marrow or bursa-derived cells] in the surface glycoprotein (SG) of SARS-CoV-2 which is nontoxic and nonallergenic in nature, nonallergenic, highly antigenic and non-mutated in other SARS-CoV-2 virus strains. The population coverage analysis has found that cluster of differentiation 4 (CD4+) T-cell peptides showed higher cumulative population coverage over cluster of differentiation 8 (CD8+) peptides in the 16 different geographical regions of the world. We identified 12 peptides ((LTDEMIAQY, WTAGAAAYY, WMESEFRVY, IRASANLAA, FGAISSVLN, VKQLSSNFG, FAMQMAYRF, FGAGAALQI, YGFQPTNGVGYQ, LPDPSKPSKR, QTQTNSPRRARS and VITPGTNTSN) that are $80\hbox{--} 90\%$ identical with experimentally determined epitopes of SARS-CoV, and this will likely be beneficial for a quick progression of the vaccine design. Moreover, docking analysis suggested that the identified peptides are tightly bound in the groove of human leukocyte antigen molecules which can induce the T-cell response. Overall, this study allows us to determine potent peptide antigen targets in the SG on intuitive grounds, which opens up a new horizon in the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) research. However, this study needs experimental validation by in vitro and in vivo.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , COVID-19/immunology , Computational Biology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , HLA Antigens/chemistry , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Vaccines, Subunit/chemistry
15.
J Biol Chem ; 297(3): 101065, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1347684

ABSTRACT

CD8+ T cells play an important role in vaccination and immunity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Although numerous SARS-CoV-2 CD8+ T cell epitopes have been identified, the molecular basis underpinning T cell receptor (TCR) recognition of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells remains unknown. The T cell response directed toward SARS-CoV-2 spike protein-derived S269-277 peptide presented by the human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A∗02:01 allomorph (hereafter the HLA-A2S269-277 epitope) is, to date, the most immunodominant SARS-CoV-2 epitope found in individuals bearing this allele. As HLA-A2S269-277-specific CD8+ T cells utilize biased TRAV12 gene usage within the TCR α-chain, we sought to understand the molecular basis underpinning this TRAV12 dominance. We expressed four TRAV12+ TCRs which bound the HLA-A2S269-277 complex with low micromolar affinity and determined the crystal structure of the HLA-A2S269-277 binary complex, and subsequently a ternary structure of the TRAV12+ TCR complexed to HLA-A2S269-277. We found that the TCR made extensive contacts along the entire length of the S269-277 peptide, suggesting that the TRAV12+ TCRs would be sensitive to sequence variation within this epitope. To examine this, we investigated cross-reactivity toward analogous peptides from existing SARS-CoV-2 variants and closely related coronaviruses. We show via surface plasmon resonance and tetramer studies that the TRAV12+ T cell repertoire cross-reacts poorly with these analogous epitopes. Overall, we defined the structural basis underpinning biased TCR recognition of CD8+ T cells directed at an immunodominant epitope and provide a framework for understanding TCR cross-reactivity toward viral variants within the S269-277 peptide.


Subject(s)
Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , HLA-A2 Antigen/metabolism , Immunodominant Epitopes/metabolism , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Humans , Protein Conformation , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/chemistry
16.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(6): 100312, 2021 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275763

ABSTRACT

Knowledge of the epitopes of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) targeted by T cells in recovered (convalescent) individuals is important for understanding T cell immunity against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This information can aid development and assessment of COVID-19 vaccines and inform novel diagnostic technologies. Here, we provide a unified description and meta-analysis of SARS-CoV-2 T cell epitopes compiled from 18 studies of cohorts of individuals recovered from COVID-19 (852 individuals in total). Our analysis demonstrates the broad diversity of T cell epitopes that have been recorded for SARS-CoV-2. A large majority are seemingly unaffected by current variants of concern. We identify a set of 20 immunoprevalent epitopes that induced T cell responses in multiple cohorts and in a large fraction of tested individuals. The landscape of SARS-CoV-2 T cell epitopes we describe can help guide immunological studies, including those related to vaccines and diagnostics. A web-based platform has been developed to help complement these efforts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , HLA Antigens/genetics , Humans , Immunity , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , T-Lymphocytes/cytology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism
17.
Genome Med ; 13(1): 101, 2021 06 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1269888

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Early in the pandemic, we designed a SARS-CoV-2 peptide vaccine containing epitope regions optimized for concurrent B cell, CD4+ T cell, and CD8+ T cell stimulation. The rationale for this design was to drive both humoral and cellular immunity with high specificity while avoiding undesired effects such as antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). METHODS: We explored the set of computationally predicted SARS-CoV-2 HLA-I and HLA-II ligands, examining protein source, concurrent human/murine coverage, and population coverage. Beyond MHC affinity, T cell vaccine candidates were further refined by predicted immunogenicity, sequence conservation, source protein abundance, and coverage of high frequency HLA alleles. B cell epitope regions were chosen from linear epitope mapping studies of convalescent patient serum, followed by filtering for surface accessibility, sequence conservation, spatial localization near functional domains of the spike glycoprotein, and avoidance of glycosylation sites. RESULTS: From 58 initial candidates, three B cell epitope regions were identified. From 3730 (MHC-I) and 5045 (MHC-II) candidate ligands, 292 CD8+ and 284 CD4+ T cell epitopes were identified. By combining these B cell and T cell analyses, as well as a manufacturability heuristic, we proposed a set of 22 SARS-CoV-2 vaccine peptides for use in subsequent murine studies. We curated a dataset of ~ 1000 observed T cell epitopes from convalescent COVID-19 patients across eight studies, showing 8/15 recurrent epitope regions to overlap with at least one of our candidate peptides. Of the 22 candidate vaccine peptides, 16 (n = 10 T cell epitope optimized; n = 6 B cell epitope optimized) were manually selected to decrease their degree of sequence overlap and then synthesized. The immunogenicity of the synthesized vaccine peptides was validated using ELISpot and ELISA following murine vaccination. Strong T cell responses were observed in 7/10 T cell epitope optimized peptides following vaccination. Humoral responses were deficient, likely due to the unrestricted conformational space inhabited by linear vaccine peptides. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, we find our selection process and vaccine formulation to be appropriate for identifying T cell epitopes and eliciting T cell responses against those epitopes. Further studies are needed to optimize prediction and induction of B cell responses, as well as study the protective capacity of predicted T and B cell epitopes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Computational Biology/methods , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Female , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/chemistry , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/metabolism , Histocompatibility Antigens Class II/chemistry , Histocompatibility Antigens Class II/metabolism , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Peptides/chemistry , Peptides/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
18.
Clin Exp Immunol ; 205(3): 363-378, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249405

ABSTRACT

Since December 2019, Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) has spread rapidly throughout the world, leading to a global effort to develop vaccines and treatments. Despite extensive progress, there remains a need for treatments to bolster the immune responses in infected immunocompromised individuals, such as cancer patients who recently underwent a haematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Immunological protection against COVID-19 is mediated by both short-lived neutralizing antibodies and long-lasting virus-reactive T cells. Therefore, we propose that T cell therapy may augment efficacy of current treatments. For the greatest efficacy with minimal adverse effects, it is important that any cellular therapy is designed to be as specific and directed as possible. Here, we identify T cells from COVID-19 patients with a potentially protective response to two major antigens of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, Spike and Nucleocapsid protein. By generating clones of highly virus-reactive CD4+ T cells, we were able to confirm a set of nine immunodominant epitopes and characterize T cell responses against these. Accordingly, the sensitivity of T cell clones for their specific epitope, as well as the extent and focus of their cytokine response was examined. Moreover, using an advanced T cell receptor (TCR) sequencing approach, we determined the paired TCR-αß sequences of clones of interest. While these data on a limited population require further expansion for universal application, the results presented here form a crucial first step towards TCR-transgenic CD4+ T cell therapy of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Amino Acid Sequence , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/virology , Clone Cells/immunology , Clone Cells/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Cytokines/biosynthesis , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/genetics , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Immunodominant Epitopes/chemistry , Immunodominant Epitopes/genetics , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
19.
Immunity ; 54(5): 1066-1082.e5, 2021 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1216346

ABSTRACT

To better understand primary and recall T cell responses during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), it is important to examine unmanipulated severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-specific T cells. By using peptide-human leukocyte antigen (HLA) tetramers for direct ex vivo analysis, we characterized CD8+ T cells specific for SARS-CoV-2 epitopes in COVID-19 patients and unexposed individuals. Unlike CD8+ T cells directed toward subdominant epitopes (B7/N257, A2/S269, and A24/S1,208) CD8+ T cells specific for the immunodominant B7/N105 epitope were detected at high frequencies in pre-pandemic samples and at increased frequencies during acute COVID-19 and convalescence. SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T cells in pre-pandemic samples from children, adults, and elderly individuals predominantly displayed a naive phenotype, indicating a lack of previous cross-reactive exposures. T cell receptor (TCR) analyses revealed diverse TCRαß repertoires and promiscuous αß-TCR pairing within B7/N105+CD8+ T cells. Our study demonstrates high naive precursor frequency and TCRαß diversity within immunodominant B7/N105-specific CD8+ T cells and provides insight into SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell origins and subsequent responses.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Amino Acid Motifs , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Child , Convalescence , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes/chemistry , Male , Middle Aged , Phenotype , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/chemistry , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/chemistry , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
20.
Infect Genet Evol ; 89: 104712, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196742

ABSTRACT

An immunoinformatics-based approach was used to identify potential multivalent subunit CTL vaccine candidates for SARS-CoV-2. Criteria for computational screening included antigen processing, antigenicity, allergenicity, and toxicity. A total of 2604 epitopes were found to be strong binders to MHC class I molecules when analyzed using IEDB tools. Further testing for antigen processing yielded 826 peptides of which 451 were 9-mers that were analyzed for potential antigenicity. Antigenic properties were predicted for 102 of the 451 peptides. Further assessment for potential allergenicity and toxicity narrowed the number of candidate CTL epitopes to 50 peptide sequences, 45 of which were present in all strains of SARS-CoV-2 that were tested. The predicted CTL epitopes were then tested to eliminate those with MHC class II binding potential, a property that could induce hyperinflammatory responses mediated by TH2 cells in immunized hosts. Eighteen of the 50 epitopes did not show class II binding potential. To our knowledge this is the first comprehensive analysis on the proteome of SARS-CoV-2 for prediction of CTL epitopes lacking binding properties that could stimulate unwanted TH2 responses. Future studies will be needed to assess these epitopes as multivalent subunit vaccine candidates which stimulate protective CTL responses against SARS-COV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Vaccines, Combined/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , COVID-19/prevention & control , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/immunology , Histocompatibility Antigens Class II/immunology , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , Molecular Docking Simulation , Proteomics/methods , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology
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