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1.
Cell Rep ; 39(9): 110897, 2022 May 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1866954

ABSTRACT

Influenza viruses circulated at very low levels during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and population immunity against these viruses is low. An H3N2 strain (3C.2a1b.2a2) with a hemagglutinin (HA) that has several substitutions relative to the 2021-22 H3N2 vaccine strain is dominating the 2021-22 Northern Hemisphere influenza season. Here, we show that one of these substitutions eliminates a key glycosylation site on HA and alters sialic acid binding. Using glycan array profiling, we show that the 3C.2a1b.2a2 H3 maintains binding to an extended biantennary sialoside and replicates to high titers in human airway cells. We find that antibodies elicited by the 2021-22 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccine poorly neutralize the 3C.2a1b.2a2 H3N2 strain. Together, these data indicate that 3C.2a1b.2a2 H3N2 viruses efficiently replicate in human cells and escape vaccine-elicited antibodies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/chemistry , Hemagglutinins , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype/genetics , Pandemics , Seasons
2.
J Virol ; 96(7): e0010022, 2022 04 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1728835

ABSTRACT

Understanding how animal influenza A viruses (IAVs) acquire airborne transmissibility in humans and ferrets is needed to prepare for and respond to pandemics. Here, we investigated in ferrets the replication and transmission of swine H1N1 isolates P4 and G15, whose majority population had decreased polymerase activity and poor hemagglutinin (HA) stability, respectively. For both isolates, a minor variant was selected and transmitted in ferrets. Polymerase-enhancing variant PA-S321 airborne-transmitted and propagated in one ferret. HA-stabilizing variant HA1-S210 was selected in all G15-inoculated ferrets and was transmitted by contact and airborne routes. With an efficient polymerase and a stable HA, the purified minor variant G15-HA1-S210 had earlier and higher peak titers in inoculated ferrets and was recovered at a higher frequency after airborne transmission than P4 and G15. Overall, HA stabilization played a more prominent role than polymerase enhancement in the replication and transmission of these viruses in ferrets. The results suggest pandemic risk-assessment studies may benefit from deep sequencing to identify minor variants with human-adapted traits. IMPORTANCE Diverse IAVs circulate in animals, yet few acquire the viral traits needed to start a human pandemic. A stabilized HA and mammalian-adapted polymerase have been shown to promote the adaptation of IAVs to humans and ferrets (the gold-standard model for IAV replication, pathogenicity, and transmissibility). Here, we used swine IAV isolates of the gamma lineage as a model to investigate the importance of HA stability and polymerase activity in promoting replication and transmission in ferrets. These are emerging viruses that bind to both α-2,6- and α-2,3-linked receptors. Using isolates containing mixed populations, a stabilized HA was selected within days in inoculated ferrets. An enhanced polymerase was also selected and propagated after airborne transmission to a ferret. Thus, HA stabilization was a stricter requirement, yet both traits promoted transmissibility. Knowing the viral traits needed for pandemic potential, and the relative importance of each, will help identify emerging viruses of greatest concern.


Subject(s)
Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Orthomyxoviridae Infections , Animals , Ferrets , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/chemistry , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/metabolism , Humans , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/transmission , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/virology , Protein Stability , Swine
3.
PLoS Comput Biol ; 17(12): e1009664, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1571973

ABSTRACT

The evolution of circulating viruses is shaped by their need to evade antibody response, which mainly targets the viral spike. Because of the high density of spikes on the viral surface, not all antigenic sites are targeted equally by antibodies. We offer here a geometry-based approach to predict and rank the probability of surface residues of SARS spike (S protein) and influenza H1N1 spike (hemagglutinin) to acquire antibody-escaping mutations utilizing in-silico models of viral structure. We used coarse-grained MD simulations to estimate the on-rate (targeting) of an antibody model to surface residues of the spike protein. Analyzing publicly available sequences, we found that spike surface sequence diversity of the pre-pandemic seasonal influenza H1N1 and the sarbecovirus subgenus highly correlates with our model prediction of antibody targeting. In particular, we identified an antibody-targeting gradient, which matches a mutability gradient along the main axis of the spike. This identifies the role of viral surface geometry in shaping the evolution of circulating viruses. For the 2009 H1N1 and SARS-CoV-2 pandemics, a mutability gradient along the main axis of the spike was not observed. Our model further allowed us to identify key residues of the SARS-CoV-2 spike at which antibody escape mutations have now occurred. Therefore, it can inform of the likely functional role of observed mutations and predict at which residues antibody-escaping mutation might arise.


Subject(s)
Evolution, Molecular , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/genetics , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , Antigens, Viral/chemistry , Antigens, Viral/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Computational Biology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/genetics , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/chemistry , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/genetics , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/immunology , Host Microbial Interactions/genetics , Host Microbial Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immune Evasion/genetics , Influenza, Human/immunology , Influenza, Human/virology , Models, Immunological , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Pandemics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Viral Envelope Proteins/chemistry
4.
Viruses ; 13(6)2021 05 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1282632

ABSTRACT

Traditional influenza vaccines generate strain-specific antibodies which cannot provide protection against divergent influenza virus strains. Further, due to frequent antigenic shifts and drift of influenza viruses, annual reformulation and revaccination are required in order to match circulating strains. Thus, the development of a universal influenza vaccine (UIV) is critical for long-term protection against all seasonal influenza virus strains, as well as to provide protection against a potential pandemic virus. One of the most important strategies in the development of UIVs is the selection of optimal targeting antigens to generate broadly cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies or cross-reactive T cell responses against divergent influenza virus strains. However, each type of target antigen for UIVs has advantages and limitations for the generation of sufficient immune responses against divergent influenza viruses. Herein, we review current strategies and perspectives regarding the use of antigens, including hemagglutinin, neuraminidase, matrix proteins, and internal proteins, for universal influenza vaccine development.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/immunology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Influenza A virus/immunology , Influenza Vaccines/immunology , Influenza, Human/immunology , Adjuvants, Immunologic , Animals , Antigens, Viral/chemistry , Cross Protection/immunology , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/chemistry , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/immunology , Humans , Influenza Vaccines/administration & dosage , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Models, Molecular , Structure-Activity Relationship
5.
Sci Transl Med ; 13(583)2021 03 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1117652

ABSTRACT

Seasonal influenza vaccines confer protection against specific viral strains but have restricted breadth that limits their protective efficacy. The H1 and H3 subtypes of influenza A virus cause most of the seasonal epidemics observed in humans and are the major drivers of influenza A virus-associated mortality. The consequences of pandemic spread of COVID-19 underscore the public health importance of prospective vaccine development. Here, we show that headless hemagglutinin (HA) stabilized-stem immunogens presented on ferritin nanoparticles elicit broadly neutralizing antibody (bnAb) responses to diverse H1 and H3 viruses in nonhuman primates (NHPs) when delivered with a squalene-based oil-in-water emulsion adjuvant, AF03. The neutralization potency and breadth of antibodies isolated from NHPs were comparable to human bnAbs and extended to mismatched heterosubtypic influenza viruses. Although NHPs lack the immunoglobulin germline VH1-69 residues associated with the most prevalent human stem-directed bnAbs, other gene families compensated to generate bnAbs. Isolation and structural analyses of vaccine-induced bnAbs revealed extensive interaction with the fusion peptide on the HA stem, which is essential for viral entry. Antibodies elicited by these headless HA stabilized-stem vaccines neutralized diverse H1 and H3 influenza viruses and shared a mode of recognition analogous to human bnAbs, suggesting that these vaccines have the potential to confer broadly protective immunity against diverse viruses responsible for seasonal and pandemic influenza infections in humans.


Subject(s)
Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/immunology , Influenza Vaccines/immunology , Primates/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antigen-Antibody Complex/chemistry , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/biosynthesis , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/chemistry , COVID-19 , Ferritins/chemistry , Ferritins/immunology , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/chemistry , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/genetics , Humans , Influenza Vaccines/administration & dosage , Influenza Vaccines/chemistry , Influenza, Human/immunology , Influenza, Human/virology , Macaca fascicularis , Models, Molecular , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Pandemics , Primates/virology , Protein Structure, Quaternary , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Sci Adv ; 7(1)2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066783

ABSTRACT

Here, we report the topology-matched design of heteromultivalent nanostructures as potent and broad-spectrum virus entry inhibitors based on the host cell membrane. Initially, we investigate the virus binding dynamics to validate the better binding performance of the heteromultivalent moieties as compared to homomultivalent ones. The heteromultivalent binding moieties are transferred to nanostructures with a bowl-like shape matching the viral spherical surface. Unlike the conventional homomultivalent inhibitors, the heteromultivalent ones exhibit a half maximal inhibitory concentration of 32.4 ± 13.7 µg/ml due to the synergistic multivalent effects and the topology-matched shape. At a dose without causing cellular toxicity, >99.99% reduction of virus propagation has been achieved. Since multiple binding sites have also been identified on the S protein of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2), we envision that the use of heteromultivalent nanostructures may also be applied to develop a potent inhibitor to prevent coronavirus infection.


Subject(s)
Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/chemistry , Influenza A virus/drug effects , Influenza, Human/virology , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Neuraminidase/chemistry , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Binding Sites , Cell Membrane/metabolism , Dogs , Erythrocyte Membrane/virology , Humans , Influenza A virus/physiology , Madin Darby Canine Kidney Cells , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Virion , Virus Attachment/drug effects , Virus Internalization/drug effects
7.
FASEB J ; 35(2): e21358, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1062891

ABSTRACT

Treatment of respiratory viral infections remains a global health concern, mainly due to the inefficacy of available drugs. Therefore, the discovery of novel antiviral compounds is needed; in this context, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) like temporins hold great promise. Here, we discovered that the harmless temporin G (TG) significantly inhibited the early life-cycle phases of influenza virus. The in vitro hemagglutinating test revealed the existence of TG interaction with the viral hemagglutinin (HA) protein. Furthermore, the hemolysis inhibition assay and the molecular docking studies confirmed a TG/HA complex formation at the level of the conserved hydrophobic stem groove of HA. Remarkably, these findings highlight the ability of TG to block the conformational rearrangements of HA2 subunit, which are essential for the viral envelope fusion with intracellular endocytic vesicles, thereby neutralizing the virus entry into the host cell. In comparison, in the case of parainfluenza virus, which penetrates host cells upon a membrane-fusion process, addition of TG to infected cells provoked ~1.2 log reduction of viral titer released in the supernatant. Nevertheless, at the same condition, an immunofluorescent assay showed that the expression of viral hemagglutinin/neuraminidase protein was not significantly reduced. This suggested a peptide-mediated block of some late steps of viral replication and therefore the impairment of the extracellular release of viral particles. Overall, our results are the first demonstration of the ability of an AMP to interfere with the replication of respiratory viruses with a different mechanism of cell entry and will open a new avenue for the development of novel therapeutic approaches against a large variety of respiratory viruses, including the recent SARS-CoV2.


Subject(s)
Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/drug effects , Parainfluenza Virus 1, Human/drug effects , A549 Cells , Animals , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Binding Sites , Dogs , HN Protein/chemistry , HN Protein/metabolism , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/chemistry , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/metabolism , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/physiology , Madin Darby Canine Kidney Cells , Molecular Docking Simulation , Parainfluenza Virus 1, Human/physiology , Protein Binding , Virus Internalization , Virus Replication
8.
Science ; 371(6526): 284-288, 2021 01 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1033401

ABSTRACT

The ability for viruses to mutate and evade the human immune system and cause infection, called viral escape, remains an obstacle to antiviral and vaccine development. Understanding the complex rules that govern escape could inform therapeutic design. We modeled viral escape with machine learning algorithms originally developed for human natural language. We identified escape mutations as those that preserve viral infectivity but cause a virus to look different to the immune system, akin to word changes that preserve a sentence's grammaticality but change its meaning. With this approach, language models of influenza hemagglutinin, HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (HIV Env), and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Spike viral proteins can accurately predict structural escape patterns using sequence data alone. Our study represents a promising conceptual bridge between natural language and viral evolution.


Subject(s)
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , HIV-1/genetics , Influenza A virus/genetics , Influenza, Human/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/virology , Binding Sites , COVID-19/virology , Evolution, Molecular , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/chemistry , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/genetics , Humans , Influenza, Human/virology , Mutation , Protein Domains , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , env Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus/chemistry , env Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus/genetics
9.
Protein Pept Lett ; 28(5): 573-588, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-918981

ABSTRACT

AIMS: The aim of this study was to create a new version of the PentaFOLD algorithm and to test its performance experimentally in several proteins and peptides. BACKGROUND: Synthetic vaccines can cause production of neutralizing antibodies only in case if short peptides form the same secondary structure as fragments of full-length proteins. The Penta- FOLD 3.0 algorithm was designed to check stability of alpha helices, beta strands, and random coils using several propensity scales obtained during analysis of 1730 3D structures of proteins. OBJECTIVE: The algorithm has been tested in the three peptides known to keep the secondary structure of the corresponding fragments of full-length proteins: the NY25 peptide from the Influenza H1N1 hemagglutinin, the SF23 peptide from the diphtheria toxin, the NQ21 peptide from the HIV1 gp120; as well as in the CC36 peptide from the human major prion protein. METHODS: Affine chromatography for antibodies against peptides accompanied by circular dichroism and fluorescence spectroscopy were used to check the predictions of the algorithm. RESULTS: Immunological experiments showed that all abovementioned peptides are more or less immunogenic in rabbits. The fact that antibodies against the NY25, the SF23, and the NQ21 form stable complexes with corresponding full-length proteins has been confirmed by affine chromatography. The surface of SARS CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain interacting with hACE2 has been shown to be unstable according to the results of the PentaFOLD 3.0. CONCLUSION: The PentaFOLD 3.0 algorithm (http://chemres.bsmu.by/PentaFOLD30.htm) can be used with the aim to design vaccine peptides with stable secondary structure elements.


Subject(s)
Algorithms , Peptides/chemistry , Proteins/chemistry , Vaccines, Subunit/chemistry , Vaccines, Synthetic/chemistry , Diphtheria Toxin/chemistry , HIV Envelope Protein gp120/chemistry , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/chemistry , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/chemistry , Models, Molecular , Prions/chemistry , Protein Conformation , Protein Structure, Secondary , Software , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
10.
J Biol Chem ; 296: 100017, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-910220

ABSTRACT

Through annual epidemics and global pandemics, influenza A viruses (IAVs) remain a significant threat to human health as the leading cause of severe respiratory disease. Within the last century, four global pandemics have resulted from the introduction of novel IAVs into humans, with components of each originating from avian viruses. IAVs infect many avian species wherein they maintain a diverse natural reservoir, posing a risk to humans through the occasional emergence of novel strains with enhanced zoonotic potential. One natural barrier for transmission of avian IAVs into humans is the specificity of the receptor-binding protein, hemagglutinin (HA), which recognizes sialic-acid-containing glycans on host cells. HAs from human IAVs exhibit "human-type" receptor specificity, binding exclusively to glycans on cells lining the human airway where terminal sialic acids are attached in the α2-6 configuration (NeuAcα2-6Gal). In contrast, HAs from avian viruses exhibit specificity for "avian-type" α2-3-linked (NeuAcα2-3Gal) receptors and thus require adaptive mutations to bind human-type receptors. Since all human IAV pandemics can be traced to avian origins, there remains ever-present concern over emerging IAVs with human-adaptive potential that might lead to the next pandemic. This concern has been brought into focus through emergence of SARS-CoV-2, aligning both scientific and public attention to the threat of novel respiratory viruses from animal sources. In this review, we summarize receptor-binding adaptations underlying the emergence of all prior IAV pandemics in humans, maintenance and evolution of human-type receptor specificity in subsequent seasonal IAVs, and potential for future human-type receptor adaptation in novel avian HAs.


Subject(s)
Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/metabolism , Influenza A virus/metabolism , Influenza in Birds/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Pandemics , Polysaccharides/chemistry , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Adaptation, Physiological , Animals , Binding Sites , Biological Coevolution , Birds/virology , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/chemistry , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/genetics , Humans , Influenza A virus/chemistry , Influenza A virus/genetics , Influenza in Birds/transmission , Influenza in Birds/virology , Influenza, Human/transmission , Influenza, Human/virology , Models, Molecular , Polysaccharides/metabolism , Protein Binding , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Respiratory System/virology , Sialic Acids/chemistry , Sialic Acids/metabolism , Species Specificity
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