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1.
Int J Biol Macromol ; 200: 428-437, 2022 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1633983

ABSTRACT

Nucleocapsid protein (N protein) is the primary antigen of the virus for development of sensitive diagnostic assays of COVID-19. In this paper, we demonstrate the significant impact of dimerization of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) N-protein on sensitivity of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) based diagnostics. The expressed purified protein from E. coli is composed of dimeric and monomeric forms, which have been further characterized using biophysical and immunological techniques. Indirect ELISA indicated elevated susceptibility of the dimeric form of the nucleocapsid protein for identification of protein-specific monoclonal antibody as compared to the monomeric form. This finding also confirmed with the modelled structure of monomeric and dimeric nucleocapsid protein via HHPred software and its solvent accessible surface area, which indicates higher stability and antigenicity of the dimeric type as compared to the monomeric form. The sensitivity and specificity of the ELISA at 95% CI are 99.0% (94.5-99.9) and 95.0% (83.0-99.4), respectively, for the highest purified dimeric form of the N protein. As a result, using the highest purified dimeric form will improve the sensitivity of the current nucleocapsid-dependent ELISA for COVID-19 diagnosis, and manufacturers should monitor and maintain the monomer-dimer composition for accurate and robust diagnostics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Circular Dichroism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/biosynthesis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/isolation & purification , Dimerization , Epitopes/chemistry , Escherichia coli/genetics , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Models, Molecular , Phosphoproteins/biosynthesis , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Phosphoproteins/isolation & purification , Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , Sensitivity and Specificity
2.
Anal Chem ; 94(6): 2812-2819, 2022 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1607320

ABSTRACT

The pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has lasted for almost 2 years. Stemming its spread has posed severe challenges for clinical virus detection. A long turnaround time, complicated operation, and low accuracy have become bottlenecks in developing detection techniques. Adopting a direct antigen detection strategy, we developed a fast-responding and quantitative capacitive aptasensor for ultratrace nucleocapsid protein detection based on a low-cost microelectrode array (MEA) chip. Employing the solid-liquid interface capacitance with a sensitivity of picofarad level, the tiny change on the MEA surface can be definitively detected. As a result, the limit of detection reaches an ultralow level of femtogram per milliliter in different matrices. Integrated with efficient microfluidic enrichment, the response time of this sensor from the sample to the result is shortened to 15 s, completely meeting the real-time detection demand. Moreover, the wide linear range of the sensor is from 10-5 to 10-2 ng/mL, and a high selectivity of 6369:1 is achieved. After application and evaluation in different environmental and body fluid matrices, this sensor and the detection method have proved to be a label-free, real-time, easy-to-operate, and specific strategy for SARS-CoV-2 screening and diagnosis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/isolation & purification , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Microelectrodes , Microfluidics , Phosphoproteins/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2
3.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0259165, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581791

ABSTRACT

The rapid, sensitive and specific detection of SARS-CoV-2 is critical in responding to the current COVID-19 outbreak. In this proof-of-concept study, we explored the potential of targeted mass spectrometry (MS) based proteomics for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 proteins in both research samples and clinical specimens. First, we assessed the limit of detection for several SARS-CoV-2 proteins by parallel reaction monitoring (PRM) MS in infected Vero E6 cells. For tryptic peptides of Nucleocapsid protein, the limit of detection was estimated to be in the mid-attomole range (9E-13 g). Next, this PRM methodology was applied to the detection of viral proteins in various COVID-19 patient clinical specimens, such as sputum and nasopharyngeal swabs. SARS-CoV-2 proteins were detected in these samples with high sensitivity in all specimens with PCR Ct values <24 and in several samples with higher CT values. A clear relationship was observed between summed MS peak intensities for SARS-CoV-2 proteins and Ct values reflecting the abundance of viral RNA. Taken together, these results suggest that targeted MS based proteomics may have the potential to be used as an additional tool in COVID-19 diagnostics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Proteomics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Proteins/isolation & purification , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Mass Spectrometry , Nucleocapsid/genetics , Nucleocapsid/isolation & purification , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/isolation & purification , Proteome/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sputum/virology , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/genetics
4.
STAR Protoc ; 2(3): 100635, 2021 09 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1386746

ABSTRACT

Understanding T-cell responses requires identifying viral peptides presented by human leukocyte antigens (HLAs). X-ray crystallography can be used to visualize their presentation. This protocol describes the expression, purification, and crystallization of HLA-A∗02:01, one of the most frequent HLA in the global population in complex with peptides derived from the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein. This protocol can be applied to different HLA class I molecules bound to other peptides. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Szeto et al. (2021).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , HLA-A2 Antigen/chemistry , Peptide Fragments/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Crystallography, X-Ray , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , HLA-A2 Antigen/metabolism , Humans , Peptide Fragments/isolation & purification , Peptide Fragments/metabolism , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/isolation & purification , Phosphoproteins/metabolism
5.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(17)2021 Aug 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374427

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) is the causative agent of the COVID19 pandemic. The SARS-CoV-2 genome encodes for a small accessory protein termed Orf9b, which targets the mitochondrial outer membrane protein TOM70 in infected cells. TOM70 is involved in a signaling cascade that ultimately leads to the induction of type I interferons (IFN-I). This cascade depends on the recruitment of Hsp90-bound proteins to the N-terminal domain of TOM70. Binding of Orf9b to TOM70 decreases the expression of IFN-I; however, the underlying mechanism remains elusive. We show that the binding of Orf9b to TOM70 inhibits the recruitment of Hsp90 and chaperone-associated proteins. We characterized the binding site of Orf9b within the C-terminal domain of TOM70 and found that a serine in position 53 of Orf9b and a glutamate in position 477 of TOM70 are crucial for the association of both proteins. A phosphomimetic variant Orf9bS53E showed drastically reduced binding to TOM70 and did not inhibit Hsp90 recruitment, suggesting that Orf9b-TOM70 complex formation is regulated by phosphorylation. Eventually, we identified the N-terminal TPR domain of TOM70 as a second binding site for Orf9b, which indicates a so far unobserved contribution of chaperones in the mitochondrial targeting of the viral protein.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins/metabolism , Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Animals , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/isolation & purification , Humans , Interferon Type I/immunology , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins/genetics , Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins/isolation & purification , Mutation , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Phosphoproteins/isolation & purification , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Phosphorylation , Protein Binding/genetics , Protein Binding/immunology , Protein Domains/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Vero Cells
6.
Anal Bioanal Chem ; 413(26): 6503-6511, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1370381

ABSTRACT

We describe a rapid liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method for the direct detection and quantitation of SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein in gargle solutions and saliva. The method is based on a multiple-reaction monitoring (MRM) mass spectrometry approach with a total cycle time of 5 min per analysis and allows the detection and accurate quantitation of SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein as low as 500 amol/µL. We improved the sample preparation protocol of our recent piloting SARS-CoV-2 LC-MS study regarding sensitivity, reproducibility, and compatibility with a complementary reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) analysis of the same sample. The aim of this work is to promote diagnostic tools that allow identifying and monitoring SARS-CoV-2 infections by LC-MS/MS methods in a routine clinical environment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Saliva/virology , Tandem Mass Spectrometry/methods , COVID-19 Testing/economics , Chromatography, Liquid/economics , Chromatography, Liquid/methods , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/analysis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/isolation & purification , Humans , Limit of Detection , Phosphoproteins/analysis , Phosphoproteins/isolation & purification , Reproducibility of Results , Specimen Handling , Tandem Mass Spectrometry/economics , Time Factors
7.
Epidemiol Infect ; 149: e140, 2021 06 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1260913

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), is the causative agent of the 2020 worldwide coronavirus pandemic. Antibody testing is useful for diagnosing historic infections of a disease in a population. These tests are also a helpful epidemiological tool for predicting how the virus spreads in a community, relating antibody levels to immunity and for assessing herd immunity. In the present study, SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins were recombinantly produced and used to analyse serum from individuals previously exposed, or not, to SARS-CoV-2. The nucleocapsid (Npro) and spike subunit 2 (S2Frag) proteins were identified as highly immunogenic, although responses to the former were generally greater. These two proteins were used to develop two quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) that when used in combination resulted in a highly reliable diagnostic test. Npro and S2Frag-ELISAs could detect at least 10% more true positive coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) cases than the commercially available ARCHITECT test (Abbott). Moreover, our quantitative ELISAs also show that specific antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 proteins tend to wane rapidly even in patients who had developed severe disease. As antibody tests complement COVID-19 diagnosis and determine population-level surveillance during this pandemic, the alternative diagnostic we present in this study could play a role in controlling the spread of the virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/isolation & purification , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Kinetics , Male , Middle Aged , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Phosphoproteins/isolation & purification , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification
8.
Anal Bioanal Chem ; 413(18): 4645-4654, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1245612

ABSTRACT

Nucleic acid detection technology based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and antibody detection based on immunochromatography still have many problems such as false negatives for the diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Therefore, it is of great importance to develop new techniques to improve the diagnostic accuracy of COVID-19. We herein developed an ultrasensitive, rapid, and duplex digital enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (dELISA) for simultaneous detection of spike (S-RBD) and nucleocapsid (N) proteins of SARS-CoV-2 based on a single molecule array. This assay effectively combines magnetic bead encoding technology and the ultrasensitive detection capability of a single molecule array. The detection strategies of S-RBD protein and N-protein exhibited wide response ranges of 0.34-1065 pg/mL and 0.183-338 pg/mL with detection limits of 20.6 fg/mL and 69.8 fg/mL, respectively. It is a highly specific method for the simultaneous detection of S-RBD protein and N-protein and has minimal interference from other blood proteins. Moreover, the spike assay showed a satisfactory and reproducible recovery rate for the detection of S-RBD protein and N-protein in serum samples. Overall, this work provides a highly sensitive method for the simultaneous detection of S-RBD protein and N-protein, which shows ultrasensitivity and high signal-to-noise ratio and contributes to improve the diagnosis accuracy of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Single Molecule Imaging/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/standards , Humans , Immunoassay/methods , Magnetics , Microspheres , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
9.
Protein Expr Purif ; 186: 105908, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1243167

ABSTRACT

The current standard for the diagnosis of COVID-19 is the nucleic acid test of SARS-CoV-2 RNA, however, virus antibody detection has the advantages of convenient sample collection, high throughout, and low cost. When combining detection with nucleic acid detection, antibody detection can effectively compensate for nucleic acid detection. Virus infection always induce high antibody titer against SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein (N protein), which can be used to detect COVID-19 at both infected and convalescent patients. In this study we reported the expression and purification of N protein in E.coli from inclusion bodies by a combination of two cation exchange chromatography, and the yield of N protein was around 50 mg/L fermentation broth with more than 90% purity. A corresponding colloidal gold detection kit prepared with our purified N protein was used to verify the efficiency and accuracy our N protein in antibody detection method. Of the 58 COVID-19 PCR positive patients' inactivated serum samples, 40 samples were IgM positive (69.0%), and 42 samples were IgG positive (72.4%), and all 95 COVID-19 negative patients' inactivated serum samples were both IgM and IgG negative. Our results indicates that the refolded soluble N protein could be used for the preliminary detection of IgG and IgM antibodies against SARS-CoV- 2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/biosynthesis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/isolation & purification , Escherichia coli/genetics , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Inclusion Bodies , Phosphoproteins/biosynthesis , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Phosphoproteins/isolation & purification , Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
10.
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0247711, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1117485

ABSTRACT

PCR methods are presently the standard for the diagnosis of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but additional methodologies are needed to complement PCR methods, which have some limitations. Here, we validated and investigated the usefulness of measuring serum antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) using the iFlash3000 CLIA analyzer. We measured IgM and IgG titers against SARS-CoV-2 in sera collected from 26 PCR-positive COVID-19 patients, 53 COVID-19-suspected but PCR-negative patients, and 20 and 100 randomly selected non-COVID-19 patients who visited our hospital in 2020 and 2017, respectively. The repeatability and within-laboratory precision were obviously good in validations, following to the CLSI document EP15-A3. Linearity was also considered good between 0.6 AU/mL and 112.7 AU/mL for SARS-CoV-2 IgM and between 3.2 AU/mL and 55.3 AU/mL for SARS-CoV-2 IgG, while the linearity curves plateaued above the upper measurement range. We also confirmed that the seroconversion and no-antibody titers were over the cutoff values in all 100 serum samples collected in 2017. These results indicate that this measurement system successfully detects SARS-CoV-2 IgM/IgG. We observed four false-positive cases in the IgM assay and no false-positive cases in the IgG assay when 111 serum samples known to contain autoantibodies were evaluated. The concordance rates of the antibody test with the PCR test were 98.1% for SARS-CoV-2 IgM and 100% for IgG among PCR-negative cases and 30.8% for SARS-CoV-2 IgM and 73.1% for SARS-CoV-2 IgG among PCR-positive cases. In conclusion, the performance of this new automated method for detecting antibody against both N and S proteins of SARS-CoV-2 is sufficient for use in laboratory testing.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/isolation & purification , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Japan/epidemiology , Luminescent Measurements/methods , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Phosphoproteins/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification
11.
J Clin Lab Anal ; 35(4): e23735, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1092109

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The rapid spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has generated a pandemic with alarming rates of fatality worldwide. This situation has had a major impact on clinical laboratories that have attempted to answer the urgent need for diagnostic tools, since the identification of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Development of a reliable serological diagnostic immunoassay, with high levels of sensitivity and specificity to detect SARS-CoV-2 antibodies with improved differential diagnosis from other circulating viruses, is mandatory. METHODS: An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using whole inactivated virus cultured in vitro, was developed to detect viral antigens. WB and ELISA investigations were carried out with sera of convalescent patients and negative sera samples. Both analyses were concurrently performed with recombinant MABs to verify the findings. RESULTS: Preliminary data from 10 sera (5 patients with COVID-19, and 5 healthy controls) using this immunoassay are very promising, successfully identifying all of the confirmed SARS-CoV-2-positive individuals. CONCLUSION: This ELISA appears to be a specific and reliable method for detecting COVID-19 antibodies (IgG, IgM, and IgA), and a useful tool for identifying individuals which have developed immunity to the virus.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Cultivation/methods , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigens, Viral/chemistry , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/isolation & purification , Blotting, Western , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/isolation & purification , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Humans , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Phosphoproteins/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Vero Cells
12.
JAMA Ophthalmol ; 138(11): 1201-1204, 2020 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-841333

ABSTRACT

Importance: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been recognized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Whether severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can also infect tissues besides the respiratory system, such as the ocular tissues, remains unclear. Objective: To determine whether SARS-CoV-2 exists intracellularly in the ocular tissues of a patient previously infected with COVID-19. Design, Setting, and Participants: This case study analyzed a patient previously infected with COVID-19 who had an acute glaucoma attack during her rehabilitation. Plasma samples and tissue specimens, including ones from the conjunctiva, anterior lens capsular, trabecular meshwork, and iris, were collected during phacoemulsification and trabeculectomy surgery. Specimens from another patient who had glaucoma but not COVID-19 were used as a negative control. Main Outcomes and Measures: Specimens were analyzed using hematoxylin-eosin staining. The nucleocapsid protein antigen of SARS-CoV-2 was measured in the conjunctiva, trabecular meshwork, and iris using immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry. The expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor on the conjunctiva was measured using immunohistochemistry. Results: The patient with a previous COVID-19 infection was female and 64 years old, and the control patient without a COVID-19 infection history was male and 61 years old. The nucleocapsid protein antigen of SARS-CoV-2 was detected on the cells of the conjunctiva, trabecular, and iris of the patient infected with COVID-19 but not in the control participant, while angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor proteins were detected on the conjunctiva of both patients. Conclusions and Relevance: The nucleocapsid protein antigen of SARS-CoV-2 existed intracellularly in the ocular tissues of a patient previously infected with COVID-19. Thus, SARS-CoV-2 can also infect ocular tissues in addition to the respiratory system.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/isolation & purification , Eye/virology , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Phosphoproteins/isolation & purification
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