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1.
Front Biosci (Landmark Ed) ; 28(4): 67, 2023 04 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2306615

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread worldwide, caused a global pandemic, and killed millions of people. The spike protein embedded in the viral membrane is essential for recognizing human receptors and invading host cells. Many nanobodies have been designed to block the interaction between spike and other proteins. However, the constantly emerging viral variants limit the effectiveness of these therapeutic nanobodies. Therefore, it is necessary to find a prospective antibody designing and optimization approach to deal with existing or future viral variants. METHODS: We attempted to optimize nanobody sequences based on the understanding of molecular details by using computational approaches. First, we employed a coarse-grained (CG) model to learn the energetic mechanism of the spike protein activation. Next, we analyzed the binding modes of several representative nanobodies with the spike protein and identified the key residues on their interfaces. Then, we performed saturated mutagenesis of these key residue sites and employed the CG model to calculate the binding energies. RESULTS: Based on analysis of the folding energy of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) -spike complex, we constructed a detailed free energy profile of the activation process of the spike protein which provided a clear mechanistic explanation. In addition, by analyzing the results of binding free energy changes following mutations, we determined how the mutations can improve the complementarity with the nanobodies on spike protein. Then we chose 7KSG nanobody as a template for further optimization and designed four potent nanobodies. Finally, based on the results of the single-site saturated mutagenesis in complementarity determining regions (CDRs), combinations of mutations were performed. We designed four novel, potent nanobodies, all exhibiting higher binding affinity to the spike protein than the original ones. CONCLUSIONS: These results provide a molecular basis for the interactions between spike protein and antibodies and promote the development of new specific neutralizing nanobodies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Single-Domain Antibodies , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Single-Domain Antibodies/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Prospective Studies , Protein Binding
2.
Front Immunol ; 14: 1098302, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2275528

ABSTRACT

Single-domain antibodies (sdAbs, VHHs, or nanobodies) are a promising tool for the treatment of both infectious and somatic diseases. Their small size greatly simplifies any genetic engineering manipulations. Such antibodies have the ability to bind hard-to-reach antigenic epitopes through long parts of the variable chains, the third complementarity-determining regions (CDR3s). VHH fusion with the canonical immunoglobulin Fc fragment allows the Fc-fusion single-domain antibodies (VHH-Fc) to significantly increase their neutralizing activity and serum half-life. Previously we have developed and characterized VHH-Fc specific to botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A), that showed a 1000-fold higher protective activity than monomeric form when challenged with five times the lethal dose (5 LD50) of BoNT/A. During the COVID-19 pandemic, mRNA vaccines based on lipid nanoparticles (LNP) as a delivery system have become an important translational technology that has significantly accelerated the clinical introduction of mRNA platforms. We have developed an mRNA platform that provides long-term expression after both intramuscular and intravenous application. The platform has been extensively characterized using firefly luciferase (Fluc) as a reporter. An intramuscular administration of LNP-mRNA encoding VHH-Fc antibody made it possible to achieve its rapid expression in mice and resulted in 100% protection when challenged with up to 100 LD50 of BoNT/A. The presented approach for the delivery of sdAbs using mRNA technology greatly simplifies drug development for antibody therapy and can be used for emergency prophylaxis.


Subject(s)
Botulinum Toxins, Type A , COVID-19 , Single-Domain Antibodies , Animals , Humans , Mice , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Pandemics , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
3.
J Biol Chem ; 299(3): 102954, 2023 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2210672

ABSTRACT

COVID-19, caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, represents a serious worldwide health issue, with continually emerging new variants challenging current therapeutics. One promising alternate therapeutic avenue is represented by nanobodies, small single-chain antibodies derived from camelids with numerous advantageous properties and the potential to neutralize the virus. For identification and characterization of a broad spectrum of anti-SARS-CoV-2 Spike nanobodies, we further optimized a yeast display method, leveraging a previously published mass spectrometry-based method, using B-cell complementary DNA from the same immunized animals as a source of VHH sequences. Yeast display captured many of the sequences identified by the previous approach, as well as many additional sequences that proved to encode a large new repertoire of nanobodies with high affinities and neutralization activities against different SARS-CoV-2 variants. We evaluated DNA shuffling applied to the three complementarity-determining regions of antiviral nanobodies. The results suggested a surprising degree of modularity to complementarity-determining region function. Importantly, the yeast display approach applied to nanobody libraries from immunized animals allows parallel interrogation of a vast number of nanobodies. For example, we employed a modified yeast display to carry out massively parallel epitope binning. The current yeast display approach proved comparable in efficiency and specificity to the mass spectrometry-based approach, while requiring none of the infrastructure and expertise required for that approach, making these highly complementary approaches that together appear to comprehensively explore the paratope space. The larger repertoires produced maximize the likelihood of discovering broadly specific reagents and those that powerfully synergize in mixtures.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing , SARS-CoV-2 , Single-Domain Antibodies , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Complementarity Determining Regions , Saccharomyces cerevisiae/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
4.
Protein Sci ; 31(11): e4461, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2047916

ABSTRACT

Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an acute infectious disease caused by novel bunyavirus (SFTSV), with a mortality rate of 6.3% ~ 30%. To date, there is no specific treatment for SFTS. Previously, we demonstrated that SFTSV surface glycoprotein (Glycoprotein N, Gn) was a potential target for the development of SFTS vaccine or therapeutic antibodies, and anti-Gn neutralizing antibodies played a protective role in SFTS infection. Compared with traditional antibodies, nanobodies from camelids have various advantages, including small molecular weight, high affinity, low immunogenicity, convenient production by gene engineering, etc. In this study, we combined next-generation sequencing (NGS) with proteomics technology based on affinity purification-mass spectrometry (AP-MS) and bioinformatics analysis to high-throughput screen monoclonal anti-Gn nanobodies from camel immunized with Gn protein. We identified 19 anti-Gn monoclonal nanobody sequences, of which six sequences were selected for recombinant protein expression and purification. Among these six anti-Gn nanobodies, nanobody 57,493 was validated to be highly specific for Gn. The innovative high-throughput technical route developed in this study could also be expanded to the production of nanobodies specific for other viruses like SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Phlebovirus , Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome , Single-Domain Antibodies , Humans , Phlebovirus/genetics , Phlebovirus/metabolism , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Single-Domain Antibodies/metabolism , Proteomics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
5.
Commun Biol ; 5(1): 933, 2022 09 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2016854

ABSTRACT

Nanobodies offer several potential advantages over mAbs for the control of SARS-CoV-2. Their ability to access cryptic epitopes conserved across SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VoCs) and feasibility to engineer modular, multimeric designs, make these antibody fragments ideal candidates for developing broad-spectrum therapeutics against current and continually emerging SARS-CoV-2 VoCs. Here we describe a diverse collection of 37 anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein nanobodies extensively characterized as both monovalent and IgG Fc-fused bivalent modalities. The nanobodies were collectively shown to have high intrinsic affinity; high thermal, thermodynamic and aerosolization stability; broad subunit/domain specificity and cross-reactivity across existing VoCs; wide-ranging epitopic and mechanistic diversity and high and broad in vitro neutralization potencies. A select set of Fc-fused nanobodies showed high neutralization efficacies in hamster models of SARS-CoV-2 infection, reducing viral burden by up to six orders of magnitude to below detectable levels. In vivo protection was demonstrated with anti-RBD and previously unreported anti-NTD and anti-S2 nanobodies. This collection of nanobodies provides a potential therapeutic toolbox from which various cocktails or multi-paratopic formats could be built to combat multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Single-Domain Antibodies , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal , Cricetinae , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics
6.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(31): e2205412119, 2022 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1947766

ABSTRACT

Camelid single-domain antibodies, also known as nanobodies, can be readily isolated from naïve libraries for specific targets but often bind too weakly to their targets to be immediately useful. Laboratory-based genetic engineering methods to enhance their affinity, termed maturation, can deliver useful reagents for different areas of biology and potentially medicine. Using the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein and a naïve library, we generated closely related nanobodies with micromolar to nanomolar binding affinities. By analyzing the structure-activity relationship using X-ray crystallography, cryoelectron microscopy, and biophysical methods, we observed that higher conformational entropy losses in the formation of the spike protein-nanobody complex are associated with tighter binding. To investigate this, we generated structural ensembles of the different complexes from electron microscopy maps and correlated the conformational fluctuations with binding affinity. This insight guided the engineering of a nanobody with improved affinity for the spike protein.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Affinity , SARS-CoV-2 , Single-Domain Antibodies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Antibody Affinity/genetics , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Entropy , Genetic Engineering , Humans , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Domain Antibodies/chemistry , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
7.
Commun Biol ; 5(1): 669, 2022 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1921727

ABSTRACT

We are amid the historic coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Imbalances in the accessibility of vaccines, medicines, and diagnostics among countries, regions, and populations, and those in war crises, have been problematic. Nanobodies are small, stable, customizable, and inexpensive to produce. Herein, we present a panel of nanobodies that can detect the spike proteins of five SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) including Omicron. Here we show via ELISA, lateral flow, kinetic, flow cytometric, microscopy, and Western blotting assays that our nanobodies can quantify the spike variants. This panel of nanobodies broadly neutralizes viral infection caused by pseudotyped and authentic SARS-CoV-2 VOCs. Structural analyses show that the P86 clone targets epitopes that are conserved yet unclassified on the receptor-binding domain (RBD) and contacts the N-terminal domain (NTD). Human antibodies rarely access both regions; consequently, the clone buries hidden crevasses of SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins that go undetected by conventional antibodies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Single-Domain Antibodies , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Membrane Glycoproteins/metabolism , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/metabolism
8.
Sheng Wu Gong Cheng Xue Bao ; 38(6): 2250-2258, 2022 Jun 25.
Article in Chinese | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1912218

ABSTRACT

Nanobodies derived from camelid single-chain antibodies have the advantages of being small, simple, highly soluble and stable. Nanobodies can be administered by inhalation and therefore is potentially valuable for the prevention and control of respiratory viruses. Trichoderma reesei is a food-grade protein expression host with a cellulase production capacity of up to 80 g/L, which can be employed for low-cost production of therapeutic proteins. In this study, a codon-optimized SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing nanobody Nb20 was expressed in T. reesei under a strong constitutive promoter Pcdna1. Nb20 protein was fused downstream of the N-terminal fragment of cellobiohydrolase Ⅰ, and the fusion protein can be intracellularly cleaved by the KEX2 protease to release Nb20. In a shake-flask fermentation using glucose medium, 47.4 mg/L Nb20 was detected in the culture after 48 h of cultivation. The expressed Nb20 showed the ability to interact with the receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, suggesting that it can be used for the neutralization of SARS-CoV-2. The results indicate that T. reesei has the potential for recombinant production of nanobodies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Single-Domain Antibodies , Humans , Hypocreales , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
9.
Structure ; 30(5): 707-720.e5, 2022 05 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1829569

ABSTRACT

Because of the evolutionary variants of SARS-CoV-2, development of broad-spectrum neutralizing antibodies resilient to virus escape is urgently needed. We identified a group of high-affinity nanobodies from camels immunized with receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and resolved the structures of two non-competing nanobodies (NB1A7 and NB1B11) in complex with RBD using X-ray crystallography. The structures show that NB1A7 targets the highly conserved cryptic epitope shared by SARS-CoV-2 variants and some other coronaviruses and blocks ACE2 receptor attachment of the spike protein, and NB1B11 epitope overlaps with the contacting surface of ACE2 and is different from the binding site of NB1A7. These two nanobodies were covalently linked into multivalent and bi-paratopic formats, which significantly improved the avidity and neutralization potency and may further inhibit viral escape. The results contribute to the structure-guided design of antibodies against future variants of SARS-CoV-2 virus to combat coronavirus epidemics and pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Single-Domain Antibodies , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies , Epitopes/metabolism , Humans , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Single-Domain Antibodies/chemistry , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
10.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(18): e2201433119, 2022 05 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815698

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike is a trimer of S1/S2 heterodimers with three receptor-binding domains (RBDs) at the S1 subunit for human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2). Due to their small size, nanobodies can recognize protein cavities that are not accessible to conventional antibodies. To isolate high-affinity nanobodies, large libraries with great diversity are highly desirable. Dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius) are natural reservoirs of coronaviruses like Middle East respiratory syndrome CoV (MERS-CoV) that are transmitted to humans. Here, we built large dromedary camel VHH phage libraries to isolate nanobodies that broadly neutralize SARS-CoV-2 variants. We isolated two VHH nanobodies, NCI-CoV-7A3 (7A3) and NCI-CoV-8A2 (8A2), which have a high affinity for the RBD via targeting nonoverlapping epitopes and show broad neutralization activity against SARS-CoV-2 and its emerging variants of concern. Cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) complex structures revealed that 8A2 binds the RBD in its up mode with a long CDR3 loop directly involved in the ACE2 binding residues and that 7A3 targets a deeply buried region that uniquely extends from the S1 subunit to the apex of the S2 subunit regardless of the conformational state of the RBD. At a dose of ≥5 mg/kg, 7A3 efficiently protected transgenic mice expressing hACE2 from the lethal challenge of variants B.1.351 or B.1.617.2, suggesting its therapeutic use against COVID-19 variants. The dromedary camel VHH phage libraries could be helpful as a unique platform ready for quickly isolating potent nanobodies against future emerging viruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Single-Domain Antibodies , Animals , Camelus , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics
11.
Front Immunol ; 13: 822159, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742216

ABSTRACT

Virus-neutralizing antibodies are one of the few treatment options for COVID-19. The evolution of SARS-CoV-2 virus has led to the emergence of virus variants with reduced sensitivity to some antibody-based therapies. The development of potent antibodies with a broad spectrum of neutralizing activity is urgently needed. Here we isolated a panel of single-domain antibodies that specifically bind to the receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 S glycoprotein. Three of the selected antibodies exhibiting most robust neutralization potency were used to generate dimeric molecules. We observed that these modifications resulted in up to a 200-fold increase in neutralizing activity. The most potent heterodimeric molecule efficiently neutralized each of SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern, including Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Omicron variants. This heterodimeric molecule could be a promising drug candidate for a treatment for COVID-19 caused by virus variants of concern.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Single-Domain Antibodies/metabolism , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Neutralization Tests , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
12.
EMBO Rep ; 23(4): e54199, 2022 04 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732510

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented global health crisis. Here, we report the identification of a synthetic nanobody (sybody) pair, Sb#15 and Sb#68, that can bind simultaneously to the SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD and efficiently neutralize pseudotyped and live viruses by interfering with ACE2 interaction. Cryo-EM confirms that Sb#15 and Sb#68 engage two spatially discrete epitopes, influencing rational design of bispecific and tri-bispecific fusion constructs that exhibit up to 100- and 1,000-fold increase in neutralization potency, respectively. Cryo-EM of the sybody-spike complex additionally reveals a novel up-out RBD conformation. While resistant viruses emerge rapidly in the presence of single binders, no escape variants are observed in the presence of the bispecific sybody. The multivalent bispecific constructs further increase the neutralization potency against globally circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Our study illustrates the power of multivalency and biparatopic nanobody fusions for the potential development of therapeutic strategies that mitigate the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 escape mutants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Drug Treatment , Single-Domain Antibodies , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Drug Resistance , Humans , Pandemics , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Single-Domain Antibodies/metabolism , Single-Domain Antibodies/pharmacology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
13.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(6)2022 Mar 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732071

ABSTRACT

Nanobodies provide important advantages over traditional antibodies, including their smaller size and robust biochemical properties such as high thermal stability, high solubility, and the ability to be bioengineered into novel multivalent, multi-specific, and high-affinity molecules, making them a class of emerging powerful therapies against SARS-CoV-2. Recent research efforts on the design, protein engineering, and structure-functional characterization of nanobodies and their binding with SARS-CoV-2 S proteins reflected a growing realization that nanobody combinations can exploit distinct binding epitopes and leverage the intrinsic plasticity of the conformational landscape for the SARS-CoV-2 S protein to produce efficient neutralizing and mutation resistant characteristics. Structural and computational studies have also been instrumental in quantifying the structure, dynamics, and energetics of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein binding with nanobodies. In this review, a comprehensive analysis of the current structural, biophysical, and computational biology investigations of SARS-CoV-2 S proteins and their complexes with distinct classes of nanobodies targeting different binding sites is presented. The analysis of computational studies is supplemented by an in-depth examination of mutational scanning simulations and identification of binding energy hotspots for distinct nanobody classes. The review is focused on the analysis of mechanisms underlying synergistic binding of multivalent nanobodies that can be superior to single nanobodies and conventional nanobody cocktails in combating escape mutations by effectively leveraging binding avidity and allosteric cooperativity. We discuss how structural insights and protein engineering approaches together with computational biology tools can aid in the rational design of synergistic combinations that exhibit superior binding and neutralization characteristics owing to avidity-mediated mechanisms.


Subject(s)
Binding Sites , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Single-Domain Antibodies/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Amino Acids , Antibody Affinity , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/metabolism , Humans , Multiprotein Complexes/chemistry , Mutagenesis , Protein Binding , Protein Engineering , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Single-Domain Antibodies/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
14.
J Virol ; 96(4): e0162221, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1706888

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection can induce mild to life-threatening symptoms. Especially individuals over 60 years of age or with underlying comorbidities, including heart or lung disease and diabetes, or immunocompromised patients are at a higher risk. Fatal multiorgan damage in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients can be attributed to an interleukin-6 (IL-6)-dominated cytokine storm. Consequently, IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) monoclonal antibody treatment for severe COVID-19 cases has been approved for therapy. High concentrations of soluble IL-6R (sIL-6R) were found in COVID-19 intensive care unit patients, suggesting the involvement of IL-6 trans-signaling in disease pathology. Here, in analogy to bispecific antibodies (bsAbs), we developed the first bispecific IL-6 trans-signaling inhibitor, c19s130Fc, which blocks viral infection and IL-6 trans-signaling. c19s130Fc is a designer protein of the IL-6 trans-signaling inhibitor cs130 fused to a single-domain nanobody directed against the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. c19s130Fc binds with high affinity to IL-6:sIL-6R complexes as well as the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, as shown by surface plasmon resonance. Using cell-based assays, we demonstrate that c19s130Fc blocks IL-6 trans-signaling-induced proliferation and STAT3 phosphorylation in Ba/F3-gp130 cells as well as SARS-CoV-2 infection and STAT3 phosphorylation in Vero cells. Taken together, c19s130Fc represents a new class of bispecific inhibitors consisting of a soluble cytokine receptor fused to antiviral nanobodies and principally demonstrates the multifunctionalization of trans-signaling inhibitors. IMPORTANCE The availability of effective SARS-CoV-2 vaccines is a large step forward in managing the pandemic situation. In addition, therapeutic options, e.g., monoclonal antibodies to prevent viral cell entry and anti-inflammatory therapies, including glucocorticoid treatment, are currently developed or in clinical use to treat already infected patients. Here, we report a novel dual-specificity inhibitor to simultaneously target SARS-CoV-2 infection and virus-induced hyperinflammation. This was achieved by fusing an inhibitor of viral cell entry with a molecule blocking IL-6, a key mediator of SARS-CoV-2-induced hyperinflammation. Through this dual action, this molecule may have the potential to efficiently ameliorate symptoms of COVID-19 in infected individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Drug Treatment , COVID-19 , Cytokine Receptor gp130 , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Recombinant Fusion Proteins , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Single-Domain Antibodies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cytokine Receptor gp130/chemistry , Cytokine Receptor gp130/genetics , Humans , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/pharmacology , Single-Domain Antibodies/chemistry , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Single-Domain Antibodies/pharmacology , Vero Cells
15.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 7(1): 44, 2022 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1683982

ABSTRACT

The wide transmission and host adaptation of SARS-CoV-2 have led to the rapid accumulation of mutations, posing significant challenges to the effectiveness of vaccines and therapeutic antibodies. Although several neutralizing antibodies were authorized for emergency clinical use, convalescent patients derived natural antibodies are vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 Spike mutation. Here, we describe the screen of a panel of SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) targeted nanobodies (Nbs) from a synthetic library and the design of a biparatopic Nb, named Nb1-Nb2, with tight affinity and super-wide neutralization breadth against multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Deep-mutational scanning experiments identify the potential binding epitopes of the Nbs on the RBD and demonstrate that biparatopic Nb1-Nb2 has a strong escape-resistant feature against more than 60 tested RBD amino acid substitutions. Using pseudovirion-based and trans-complementation SARS-CoV-2 tools, we determine that the Nb1-Nb2 broadly neutralizes multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants at sub-nanomolar levels, including Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), Gamma (P.1), Delta (B.1.617.2), Lambda (C.37), Kappa (B.1.617.1), and Mu (B.1.621). Furthermore, a heavy-chain antibody is constructed by fusing the human IgG1 Fc to Nb1-Nb2 (designated as Nb1-Nb2-Fc) to improve its neutralization potency, yield, stability, and potential half-life extension. For the new Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) that harbors unprecedented multiple RBD mutations, Nb1-Nb2-Fc keeps a firm affinity (KD < 1.0 × 10-12 M) and strong neutralizing activity (IC50 = 1.46 nM for authentic Omicron virus). Together, we developed a tetravalent biparatopic human heavy-chain antibody with ultrapotent and broad-spectrum SARS-CoV-2 neutralization activity which highlights the potential clinical applications.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/pharmacology , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/pharmacology , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Single-Domain Antibodies/pharmacology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Antibody Affinity , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/immunology , Escherichia coli/genetics , Escherichia coli/metabolism , Gene Expression , Humans , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/biosynthesis , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/genetics , Models, Molecular , Neutralization Tests , Protein Binding/drug effects , Protein Conformation , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Domain Antibodies/biosynthesis , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
16.
STAR Protoc ; 3(1): 101101, 2022 03 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1626432

ABSTRACT

The generation of high-affinity nanobodies for diverse biomedical applications typically requires immunization or affinity maturation. Here, we report a simple protocol using complementarity-determining region (CDR)-swapping mutagenesis to isolate high-affinity nanobodies from common framework libraries. This approach involves shuffling the CDRs of low-affinity variants during the sorting of yeast-displayed libraries to directly isolate high-affinity nanobodies without the need for lead isolation and optimization. We expect this approach, which we demonstrate for SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing nanobodies, will simplify the generation of high-affinity nanobodies. For complete details on the use and execution of this profile, please refer to Zupancic et al. (2021).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Single-Domain Antibodies , Complementarity Determining Regions/genetics , Humans , Mutagenesis , Peptide Library , SARS-CoV-2 , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics
17.
MAbs ; 14(1): 2002236, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585298

ABSTRACT

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


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Surface Display Techniques , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Peptide Library , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Domain Antibodies/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Antibody Specificity , Binding Sites, Antibody , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Models, Animal , Epitopes , Female , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Immunoglobulin G/genetics , Immunoglobulin G/metabolism , Immunoglobulin G/pharmacology , Mesocricetus , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Single-Domain Antibodies/metabolism , Single-Domain Antibodies/pharmacology , Vero Cells
18.
EMBO Rep ; 23(2): e53865, 2022 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1579708

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) requires continued development of effective therapeutics. Recently, we identified high-affinity neutralizing nanobodies (Nbs) specific for the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2. Taking advantage of detailed epitope mapping, we generate two biparatopic Nbs (bipNbs) targeting a conserved epitope outside and two different epitopes inside the RBD:ACE2 interface. Both bipNbs bind all currently circulating VOCs with high affinities and are capable to neutralize cellular infection with VOC B.1.351 (Beta) and B.1.617.2 (Delta) in vitro. To assess if the bipNbs NM1267 and NM1268 confer protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection in vivo, human ACE2 transgenic mice are treated intranasally before infection with a lethal dose of SARS-CoV-2 B.1, B.1.351 (Beta) or B.1.617.2 (Delta). Nb-treated mice show significantly reduced disease progression and increased survival rates. Histopathological analyses further reveal a drastically reduced viral load and inflammatory response in lungs. These data suggest that both bipNbs are broadly active against a variety of emerging SARS-CoV-2 VOCs and represent easily applicable drug candidates.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Single-Domain Antibodies , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
19.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5506, 2021 09 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1428815

ABSTRACT

Antibody engineering technologies face increasing demands for speed, reliability and scale. We develop CeVICA, a cell-free nanobody engineering platform that uses ribosome display for in vitro selection of nanobodies from a library of 1011 randomized sequences. We apply CeVICA to engineer nanobodies against the Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and identify >800 binder families using a computational pipeline based on CDR-directed clustering. Among 38 experimentally-tested families, 30 are true RBD binders and 11 inhibit SARS-CoV-2 pseudotyped virus infection. Affinity maturation and multivalency engineering increase nanobody binding affinity and yield a virus neutralizer with picomolar IC50. Furthermore, the capability of CeVICA for comprehensive binder prediction allows us to validate the fitness of our nanobody library. CeVICA offers an integrated solution for rapid generation of divergent synthetic nanobodies with tunable affinities in vitro and may serve as the basis for automated and highly parallel nanobody engineering.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Protein Engineering , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Single-Domain Antibodies/chemistry , Single-Domain Antibodies/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Protein Binding , Reproducibility of Results , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , COVID-19 Drug Treatment
20.
Cell Chem Biol ; 28(9): 1379-1388.e7, 2021 09 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385232

ABSTRACT

There is widespread interest in facile methods for generating potent neutralizing antibodies, nanobodies, and other affinity proteins against SARS-CoV-2 and related viruses to address current and future pandemics. While isolating antibodies from animals and humans are proven approaches, these methods are limited to the affinities, specificities, and functional activities of antibodies generated by the immune system. Here we report a surprisingly simple directed evolution method for generating nanobodies with high affinities and neutralization activities against SARS-CoV-2. We demonstrate that complementarity-determining region swapping between low-affinity lead nanobodies, which we discovered unintentionally but find is simple to implement systematically, results in matured nanobodies with unusually large increases in affinity. Importantly, the matured nanobodies potently neutralize both SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus and live virus, and possess drug-like biophysical properties. We expect that our methods will improve in vitro nanobody discovery and accelerate the generation of potent neutralizing nanobodies against diverse coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Complementarity Determining Regions/genetics , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Chlorocebus aethiops , Epitopes , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mutagenesis , SARS-CoV-2 , Saccharomyces cerevisiae , Single-Domain Antibodies/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Vero Cells
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