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1.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0262897, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662441

ABSTRACT

This study investigated the performance of a rapid point-of-care antibody test, the BioMedomics COVID-19 IgM/IgG Rapid Test, in comparison with a high-quality, validated, laboratory-based platform, the Roche Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 assay. Serological testing was conducted on 709 individuals. Concordance metrics were estimated. Logistic regression was used to assess associations with seropositivity. SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence was 63.5% (450/709; 95% CI 59.8%-67.0%) using the BioMedomics assay and 71.9% (510/709; 95% CI 68.5%-75.2%) using the Elecsys assay. There were 60 discordant results between the two assays, all of which were seropositive in the Elecsys assay, but seronegative in the BioMedomics assay. Overall, positive, and negative percent agreements between the two assays were 91.5% (95% CI 89.2%-93.5%), 88.2% (95% CI 85.1%-90.9%), and 100% (95% CI 98.2%-100%), respectively, with a Cohen's kappa of 0.81 (95% CI 0.78-0.84). Excluding specimens with lower (Elecsys) antibody titers, the agreement improved with overall, positive, and negative percent concordance of 94.4% (95% CI 92.3%-96.1%), 91.8% (95% CI 88.8%-94.3%), and 100% (95% CI 98.2%-100%), respectively, and a Cohen's kappa of 0.88 (95% CI 0.85-0.90). Logistic regression confirmed better agreement with higher antibody titers. The BioMedomics COVID-19 IgM/IgG Rapid Test demonstrated good performance in measuring detectable antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, supporting the utility of such rapid point-of-care serological testing to guide the public health responses and vaccine prioritization.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Adult , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Point-of-Care Testing , Qatar , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/blood , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Young Adult
2.
J Virol ; 96(3): e0162621, 2022 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1532964

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the etiologic agent of COVID-19, uses its spike (S) glycoprotein anchored in the viral membrane to enter host cells. The S glycoprotein is the major target for neutralizing antibodies elicited by natural infection and by vaccines. Approximately 35% of the SARS-CoV-2 S glycoprotein consists of carbohydrate, which can influence virus infectivity and susceptibility to antibody inhibition. We found that virus-like particles produced by coexpression of SARS-CoV-2 S, M, E, and N proteins contained spike glycoproteins that were extensively modified by complex carbohydrates. We used a fucose-selective lectin to purify the Golgi-modified fraction of a wild-type SARS-CoV-2 S glycoprotein trimer and determined its glycosylation and disulfide bond profile. Compared with soluble or solubilized S glycoproteins modified to prevent proteolytic cleavage and to retain a prefusion conformation, more of the wild-type S glycoprotein N-linked glycans are processed to complex forms. Even Asn 234, a significant percentage of which is decorated by high-mannose glycans on other characterized S trimer preparations, is predominantly modified in the Golgi compartment by processed glycans. Three incompletely occupied sites of O-linked glycosylation were detected. Viruses pseudotyped with natural variants of the serine/threonine residues implicated in O-linked glycosylation were generally infectious and exhibited sensitivity to neutralization by soluble ACE2 and convalescent antisera comparable to that of the wild-type virus. Unlike other natural cysteine variants, a Cys15Phe (C15F) mutant retained partial, but unstable, infectivity. These findings enhance our understanding of the Golgi processing of the native SARS-CoV-2 S glycoprotein carbohydrates and could assist the design of interventions. IMPORTANCE The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, uses its spike glycoprotein to enter host cells. The viral spike glycoprotein is the main target of host neutralizing antibodies that help to control SARS-CoV-2 infection and are important for the protection provided by vaccines. The SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein consists of a trimer of two subunits covered with a coat of carbohydrates (sugars). Here, we describe the disulfide bonds that assist the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein to assume the correct shape and the composition of the sugar moieties on the glycoprotein surface. We also evaluate the consequences of natural virus variation in O-linked sugar addition and in the cysteine residues involved in disulfide bond formation. This information can expedite the improvement of vaccines and therapies for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Disulfides , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral , Glycosylation , Humans , Models, Molecular , Neutralization Tests , Protein Conformation , Protein Processing, Post-Translational , Protein Transport , Recombinant Proteins , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Structure-Activity Relationship
3.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0257089, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523422

ABSTRACT

Recombinant production of viral proteins can be used to produce vaccine antigens or reagents to identify antibodies in patient serum. Minimally, these proteins must be correctly folded and have appropriate post-translation modifications. Here we report the production of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) in the green algae Chlamydomonas. RBD fused to a fluorescent reporter protein accumulates as an intact protein when targeted for ER-Golgi retention or secreted from the cell, while a chloroplast localized version is truncated. The ER-retained RBD fusion protein was able to bind the human ACE2 receptor, the host target of SARS-CoV-2, and was specifically out-competed by mammalian cell-produced recombinant RBD, suggesting that the algae produced proteins are sufficiently post-translationally modified to act as authentic SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Because algae can be grown at large scale very inexpensively, this recombinant protein may be a low cost alternative to other expression platforms.


Subject(s)
Chlamydomonas reinhardtii , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Recombinant Proteins , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Chlamydomonas reinhardtii/genetics , Chlamydomonas reinhardtii/metabolism , Cloning, Molecular , Humans , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/genetics , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification
4.
Microbiol Spectr ; 9(3): e0126721, 2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522928

ABSTRACT

The objective of this study was to construct a novel strategy for the detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants using multiplex PCR-mass spectrometry minisequencing technique (mPCR-MS minisequencing). Using the nucleic acid sequence of a SARS-CoV-2 nonvariant and a synthetic SARS-CoV-2 variant-carrying plasmid, a matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) method based on the single-base mass probe extension of multiplex PCR amplification products was established to detect 9 mutation types in 7 mutated sites (HV6970del, N501Y, K417N, P681H, D614G, E484K, L452R, E484Q, and P681R) in the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 variants. Twenty-one respiratory tract pathogens (9 bacteria and 12 respiratory viruses) and nucleic acid samples from non-COVID-19 patients were selected for specific validation. Twenty samples from COVID-19 patients were used to verify the accuracy of this method. The 9 mutation types could be detected simultaneously by triple PCR amplification coupled with MALDI-TOF MS. SARS-CoV-2 and six variants, B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), B.1.429 (Epsilon), B.1.526 (Iota), P.1 (Gamma) and B.1.617.2 (Delta), could be identified. The detection limit for all 9 sites was 1.5 × 103 copies. The specificity of this method was 100%, and the accuracy of real-time PCR cycle threshold (CT) values less than 27 among positive samples was 100%. This method is open and extensible, and can be used in a high-throughput manner, easily allowing the addition of new mutation sites as needed to identify and track new SARS-CoV-2 variants as they emerge. mPCR-MS minisequencing provides a new detection option with practical application value for SARS-CoV-2 and its variant infection. IMPORTANCE The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants is the key factor in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. An all-in-one SARS-CoV-2 variant identification method based on a multiplex PCR-mass spectrometry minisequencing system was developed in this study. Six SARS-CoV-2 variants (Alpha, Beta, Epsilon, Iota, Gamma, and Delta) can be identified simultaneously. This method can not only achieve the multisite simultaneous detection that cannot be realized by PCR coupled with first-generation sequencing technology and quantitative PCR (qPCR) technology but also avoid the shortcomings of time-consuming, high-cost, and high technical requirements of whole-genome sequencing technology. As a simple screening assay for monitoring the emergence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 and variants, mPCR-MS minisequencing is expected to play an important role in the detection and monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 infection as a supplementary technology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Mass Spectrometry/methods , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Base Sequence , Humans , Mutation , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , Protein Binding , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Whole Genome Sequencing
5.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0257016, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1484849

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Activation of the immune system is implicated in the Post-Acute Sequelae after SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) but the mechanisms remain unknown. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) cleaves angiotensin II (Ang II) resulting in decreased activation of the AT1 receptor and decreased immune system activation. We hypothesized that autoantibodies against ACE2 may develop after SARS-CoV-2 infection, as anti-idiotypic antibodies to anti-spike protein antibodies. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We tested plasma or serum for ACE2 antibodies in 67 patients with known SARS-CoV-2 infection and 13 with no history of infection. None of the 13 patients without history of SARS-CoV-2 infection and 1 of the 20 outpatients that had a positive PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 had levels of ACE2 antibodies above the cutoff threshold. In contrast, 26/32 (81%) in the convalescent group and 14/15 (93%) of patients acutely hospitalized had detectable ACE2 antibodies. Plasma from patients with antibodies against ACE2 had less soluble ACE2 activity in plasma but similar amounts of ACE2 protein compared to patients without ACE2 antibodies. We measured the capacity of the samples to inhibit ACE2 enzyme activity. Addition of plasma from patients with ACE2 antibodies led to decreased activity of an exogenous preparation of ACE2 compared to patients that did not have antibodies. CONCLUSIONS: Many patients with a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection have antibodies specific for ACE2. Patients with ACE2 antibodies have lower activity of soluble ACE2 in plasma. Plasma from these patients also inhibits exogenous ACE2 activity. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that ACE2 antibodies develop after SARS-CoV-2 infection and decrease ACE2 activity. This could lead to an increase in the abundance of Ang II, which causes a proinflammatory state that triggers symptoms of PASC.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies/blood , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/blood , Angiotensin II/blood , Angiotensin II/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Autoantibodies/immunology , Autoantibodies/isolation & purification , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/blood , Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1/blood , Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1/genetics , Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1/immunology , Renin-Angiotensin System/genetics , Renin-Angiotensin System/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification
6.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 6103, 2021 10 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475296

ABSTRACT

Multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) have been emerging and some have been linked to an increase in case numbers globally. However, there is yet a lack of understanding of the molecular basis for the interactions between the human ACE2 (hACE2) receptor and these VOCs. Here we examined several VOCs including Alpha, Beta, and Gamma, and demonstrate that five variants receptor-binding domain (RBD) increased binding affinity for hACE2, and four variants pseudoviruses increased entry into susceptible cells. Crystal structures of hACE2-RBD complexes help identify the key residues facilitating changes in hACE2 binding affinity. Additionally, soluble hACE2 protein efficiently prevent most of the variants pseudoviruses. Our findings provide important molecular information and may help the development of novel therapeutic and prophylactic agents targeting these emerging mutants.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/isolation & purification , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/ultrastructure , Animals , Cell Line, Tumor , Crystallography, X-Ray , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , Recombinant Proteins/ultrastructure , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sf9 Cells , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/ultrastructure , Spodoptera , Surface Plasmon Resonance , Virus Attachment , Virus Internalization
7.
Biochemistry (Mosc) ; 86(10): 1275-1287, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1476404

ABSTRACT

A new platform for creating anti-coronavirus epitope vaccines has been developed. Two loop-like epitopes with lengths of 22 and 42 amino acid residues were selected from the receptor-binding motif of the Spike protein from the SARS-CoV-2 virus that participate in a large number of protein-protein interactions in the complexes with ACE2 and neutralizing antibodies. Two types of hybrid proteins, including one of the two selected epitopes, were constructed. To fix conformation of the selected epitopes, an approach using protein scaffolds was used. The homologue of Rop protein from the Escherichia coli ColE1 plasmid containing helix-turn-helix motif was used as an epitope scaffold for the convergence of C- and N-termini of the loop-like epitopes. Loop epitopes were inserted into the turn region. The conformation was additionally fixed by a disulfide bond formed between the cysteine residues present within the epitopes. For the purpose of multimerization, either aldolase from Thermotoga maritima, which forms a trimer in solution, or alpha-helical trimerizer of the Spike protein from SARS-CoV-2, was attached to the epitopes incorporated into the Rop-like protein. To enable purification on the heparin-containing sorbents, a short fragment from the heparin-binding hemagglutinin of Mycobacterium tuberculosis was inserted at the C-terminus of the hybrid proteins. All the obtained proteins demonstrated high level of immunogenicity after triplicate parenteral administration to mice. Sera from the mice immunized with both aldolase-based hybrid proteins and the Spike protein SARS-CoV-2 trimerizer-based protein with a longer epitope interacted with both the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus and the Spike protein receptor-binding domain at high titers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Epitopes , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/isolation & purification , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , Epitopes/isolation & purification , Epitopes/pharmacology , Female , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , Recombinant Proteins/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/pharmacology
8.
Adv Mater ; 33(51): e2104362, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1469404

ABSTRACT

The development of effective vaccines that can be rapidly manufactured and distributed worldwide is necessary to mitigate the devastating health and economic impacts of pandemics like COVID-19. The receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which mediates host cell entry of the virus, is an appealing antigen for subunit vaccines because it is efficient to manufacture, highly stable, and a target for neutralizing antibodies. Unfortunately, RBD is poorly immunogenic. While most subunit vaccines are commonly formulated with adjuvants to enhance their immunogenicity, clinically-relevant adjuvants Alum, AddaVax, and CpG/Alum are found unable to elicit neutralizing responses following a prime-boost immunization. Here, it has been shown that sustained delivery of an RBD subunit vaccine comprising CpG/Alum adjuvant in an injectable polymer-nanoparticle (PNP) hydrogel elicited potent anti-RBD and anti-spike antibody titers, providing broader protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern compared to bolus administration of the same vaccine and vaccines comprising other clinically-relevant adjuvant systems. Notably, a SARS-CoV-2 spike-pseudotyped lentivirus neutralization assay revealed that hydrogel-based vaccines elicited potent neutralizing responses when bolus vaccines did not. Together, these results suggest that slow delivery of RBD subunit vaccines with PNP hydrogels can significantly enhance the immunogenicity of RBD and induce neutralizing humoral immunity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Hydrogels/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , Adjuvants, Immunologic/chemistry , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , CpG Islands/genetics , Female , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Polymers/chemistry , Protein Domains/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Vaccines, Subunit/chemistry , Vaccines, Subunit/metabolism
9.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0257016, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388955

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Activation of the immune system is implicated in the Post-Acute Sequelae after SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) but the mechanisms remain unknown. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) cleaves angiotensin II (Ang II) resulting in decreased activation of the AT1 receptor and decreased immune system activation. We hypothesized that autoantibodies against ACE2 may develop after SARS-CoV-2 infection, as anti-idiotypic antibodies to anti-spike protein antibodies. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We tested plasma or serum for ACE2 antibodies in 67 patients with known SARS-CoV-2 infection and 13 with no history of infection. None of the 13 patients without history of SARS-CoV-2 infection and 1 of the 20 outpatients that had a positive PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 had levels of ACE2 antibodies above the cutoff threshold. In contrast, 26/32 (81%) in the convalescent group and 14/15 (93%) of patients acutely hospitalized had detectable ACE2 antibodies. Plasma from patients with antibodies against ACE2 had less soluble ACE2 activity in plasma but similar amounts of ACE2 protein compared to patients without ACE2 antibodies. We measured the capacity of the samples to inhibit ACE2 enzyme activity. Addition of plasma from patients with ACE2 antibodies led to decreased activity of an exogenous preparation of ACE2 compared to patients that did not have antibodies. CONCLUSIONS: Many patients with a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection have antibodies specific for ACE2. Patients with ACE2 antibodies have lower activity of soluble ACE2 in plasma. Plasma from these patients also inhibits exogenous ACE2 activity. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that ACE2 antibodies develop after SARS-CoV-2 infection and decrease ACE2 activity. This could lead to an increase in the abundance of Ang II, which causes a proinflammatory state that triggers symptoms of PASC.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies/blood , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/blood , Angiotensin II/blood , Angiotensin II/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Autoantibodies/immunology , Autoantibodies/isolation & purification , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/blood , Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1/blood , Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1/genetics , Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1/immunology , Renin-Angiotensin System/genetics , Renin-Angiotensin System/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification
10.
Protein Expr Purif ; 179: 105802, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1386444

ABSTRACT

The receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is a commonly used antigen for serology assays critical to determining the extent of SARS-CoV-2 exposure in the population. Different versions of the RBD protein have been developed and utilized in assays, with higher sensitivity attributed to particular forms of the protein. To improve the yield of these high-sensitivity forms of RBD and support the increased demand for this antigen in serology assays, we investigated several protein expression variables including DNA elements such as promoters and signal peptides, cell culture expression parameters, and purification processes. Through this investigation, we developed a simplified and robust purification strategy that consistently resulted in high levels of the high-sensitivity form of RBD and demonstrated that a carboxyterminal tag is responsible for the increased sensitivity in the ELISA. These improved reagents and processes produce high-quality proteins which are functional in serology assays and can be used to investigate seropositivity to SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Protein Domains/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Protein Binding/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/blood , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
11.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(17)2021 Aug 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1379976

ABSTRACT

Antisense peptide technology (APT) is based on a useful heuristic algorithm for rational peptide design. It was deduced from empirical observations that peptides consisting of complementary (sense and antisense) amino acids interact with higher probability and affinity than the randomly selected ones. This phenomenon is closely related to the structure of the standard genetic code table, and at the same time, is unrelated to the direction of its codon sequence translation. The concept of complementary peptide interaction is discussed, and its possible applications to diagnostic tests and bioengineering research are summarized. Problems and difficulties that may arise using APT are discussed, and possible solutions are proposed. The methodology was tested on the example of SARS-CoV-2. It is shown that the CABS-dock server accurately predicts the binding of antisense peptides to the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain without requiring predefinition of the binding site. It is concluded that the benefits of APT outweigh the costs of random peptide screening and could lead to considerable savings in time and resources, especially if combined with other computational and immunochemical methods.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Peptides/metabolism , Protein Engineering/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Algorithms , Amino Acid Sequence/genetics , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Immunochemistry/methods , Molecular Docking Simulation , Peptides/genetics , Protein Binding/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
12.
Sensors (Basel) ; 20(11)2020 May 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374488

ABSTRACT

One of the key challenges of the recent COVID-19 pandemic is the ability to accurately estimate the number of infected individuals, particularly asymptomatic and/or early-stage patients. We herewith report the proof-of-concept development of a biosensor able to detect the SARS-CoV-2 S1 spike protein expressed on the surface of the virus. The biosensor is based on membrane-engineered mammalian cells bearing the human chimeric spike S1 antibody. We demonstrate that the attachment of the protein to the membrane-bound antibodies resulted in a selective and considerable change in the cellular bioelectric properties measured by means of a Bioelectric Recognition Assay. The novel biosensor provided results in an ultra-rapid manner (3 min), with a detection limit of 1 fg/mL and a semi-linear range of response between 10 fg and 1 µg/mL. In addition, no cross-reactivity was observed against the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein. Furthermore, the biosensor was configured as a ready-to-use platform, including a portable read-out device operated via smartphone/tablet. In this way, we demonstrate that the novel biosensor can be potentially applied for the mass screening of SARS-CoV-2 surface antigens without prior sample processing, therefore offering a possible solution for the timely monitoring and eventual control of the global coronavirus pandemic.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Biosensing Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/genetics , Antigens, Viral/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Limit of Detection , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Smartphone , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
13.
J Infect Dis ; 224(4): 616-619, 2021 08 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1358460

ABSTRACT

Emerging severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants may influence the effectiveness of existing laboratory diagnostics. In the current study we determined whether the British (20I/501Y.V1) and South African (20H/501Y.V2) SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern are detected with an in-house S1-based antigen detection assay, analyzing spiked pools of quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction-negative nasopharyngeal swab specimens. The assay, combining 4 monoclonal antibodies, allowed sensitive detection of both the wild type and the variants of concern, despite accumulation of several mutations in the variants' S1 region-results suggesting that this combination, targeting distinct epitopes, enables both specificity and the universality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/isolation & purification , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Viral Load
14.
Nature ; 588(7838): 498-502, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1343462

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virions are surrounded by a lipid bilayer from which spike (S) protein trimers protrude1. Heavily glycosylated S trimers bind to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor and mediate entry of virions into target cells2-6. S exhibits extensive conformational flexibility: it modulates exposure of its receptor-binding site and subsequently undergoes complete structural rearrangement to drive fusion of viral and cellular membranes2,7,8. The structures and conformations of soluble, overexpressed, purified S proteins have been studied in detail using cryo-electron microscopy2,7,9-12, but the structure and distribution of S on the virion surface remain unknown. Here we applied cryo-electron microscopy and tomography to image intact SARS-CoV-2 virions and determine the high-resolution structure, conformational flexibility and distribution of S trimers in situ on the virion surface. These results reveal the conformations of S on the virion, and provide a basis from which to understand interactions between S and neutralizing antibodies during infection or vaccination.


Subject(s)
Cryoelectron Microscopy , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/ultrastructure , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/analysis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/ultrastructure , Virion/chemistry , Virion/ultrastructure , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cell Line, Tumor , Humans , Models, Molecular , Pliability , Protein Conformation , Protein Multimerization , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Virion/isolation & purification , Virion/metabolism
15.
Crit Care ; 25(1): 244, 2021 07 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1308100

ABSTRACT

The major variant of concerns (VOCs) have shared mutations in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike proteins, mostly on the S1 unit and resulted in higher transmissibility rate and affect viral virulence and clinical outcome. The spike protein mutations and other non-structural protein mutations in the VOCs may lead to escape approved vaccinations in certain extend. We will discuss these VOC mutations and discuss the need for combination therapeutic strategies targeting viral cycle and immune host responses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 Vaccines , Genetic Variation , Humans
16.
J Colloid Interface Sci ; 604: 113-121, 2021 Dec 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1293924

ABSTRACT

The development of colorimetric assays for rapid and accurate diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is of practical importance for point-of-care (POC) testing. Here we report the colorimetric detection of spike (S1) protein of SARS-CoV-2 based on excellent peroxidase-like activity of Au@Pt nanoparticles, with merits of rapidness, easy operation, and high sensitivity. The Au@Pt NPs were fabricated by a facile seed-mediated growth approach, in which spherical Au NPs were premade as seeds, followed by the Pt growth on Au seeds, producing uniform, monodispersed and porous Au@Pt core-shell NPs. The as-obtained Au@Pt NPs showed a remarkable enhancement in the peroxidase-mimic catalysis, which well abided by the typical Michaelis-Menten theory. The enhanced catalysis of Au@Pt NPs was ascribed to the porous nanostructure and formed electron-rich Pt shells, which enabled the catalytic pathway to switch from hydroxyl radical generation to electron transfer process. On a basis of these findings, a colorimetric assay of spike (S1) protein of SARS-CoV-2 was established, with a linear detection range of 10-100 ng mL-1 of protein concentration and a low limit of detection (LOD) of 11 ng mL-1. The work presents a novel strategy for diagnosis of COVID-19 based on metallic nanozyme-catalysis.


Subject(s)
Colorimetry , Gold , Metal Nanoparticles , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Peroxidases , Porosity , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 13120, 2021 06 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281738

ABSTRACT

In December 2019, a novel coronavirus, termed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of pneumonia with severe respiratory distress and outbreaks in Wuhan, China. The rapid and global spread of SARS-CoV-2 resulted in the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Earlier during the pandemic, there were limited genetic viral variations. As millions of people became infected, multiple single amino acid substitutions emerged. Many of these substitutions have no consequences. However, some of the new variants show a greater infection rate, more severe disease, and reduced sensitivity to current prophylaxes and treatments. Of particular importance in SARS-CoV-2 transmission are mutations that occur in the Spike (S) protein, the protein on the viral outer envelope that binds to the human angiotensin-converting enzyme receptor (hACE2). Here, we conducted a comprehensive analysis of 441,168 individual virus sequences isolated from humans throughout the world. From the individual sequences, we identified 3540 unique amino acid substitutions in the S protein. Analysis of these different variants in the S protein pinpointed important functional and structural sites in the protein. This information may guide the development of effective vaccines and therapeutics to help arrest the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Genetic Variation , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Amino Acid Substitution , Furin/metabolism , Glycosylation , Humans , Models, Molecular , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification
18.
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
19.
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
20.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 9475, 2021 05 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1216469

ABSTRACT

During August 2020, we carried out a serological survey among students and employees at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), Japan, testing for the presence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19. We used a FDA-authorized 2-step ELISA protocol in combination with at-home self-collection of blood samples using a custom low-cost finger prick-based capillary blood collection kit. Although our survey did not find any COVID-19 seropositive individuals among the OIST cohort, it reliably detected all positive control samples obtained from a local hospital and excluded all negatives controls. We found that high serum antibody titers can persist for more than 9 months post infection. Among our controls, we found strong cross-reactivity of antibodies in samples from a serum pool from two MERS patients in the anti-SARS-CoV-2-S ELISA. Here we show that a centralized ELISA in combination with patient-based capillary blood collection using as little as one drop of blood can reliably assess the seroprevalence among communities. Anonymous sample tracking and an integrated website created a stream-lined procedure. Major parts of the workflow were automated on a liquid handler, demonstrating scalability. We anticipate this concept to serve as a prototype for reliable serological testing among larger populations.


Subject(s)
Blood Specimen Collection/methods , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Blood Specimen Collection/instrumentation , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Cross Reactions , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Phlebotomy/methods , Reproducibility of Results , Self-Testing , Sensitivity and Specificity , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Time Factors
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