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1.
Infect Disord Drug Targets ; 21(4): 541-552, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496791

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since December 2019, a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has caused global public health issues after being reported for the first time in Wuhan province of China. So far, there have been approximately 14.8 million confirmed cases and 0.614 million deaths due to the SARS-CoV-2 infection globally, and still, numbers are increasing. Although the virus has caused a global public health concern, no effective treatment has been developed. OBJECTIVE: One of the strategies to combat the COVID-19 disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 is the development of vaccines that can make humans immune to these infections. Considering this approach, in this study, an attempt has been made to design epitope-based vaccine for combatting COVID-19 disease by analyzing the complete proteome of the virus by using immuno-informatics tools. METHODS: The protein sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 was retrieved and the individual proteins were checked for their allergic potential. Then, from non-allergen proteins, antigenic epitopes were identified that could bind with MHCII molecules. The epitopes were modeled and docked to predict the interaction with MHCII molecules. The stability of the epitope-MHCII complex was further analyzed by performing a molecular dynamics simulation study. The selected vaccine candidates were also analyzed for their global population coverage and conservancy among SARS-related coronavirus species. RESULTS: The study has predicted 5 peptide molecules that can act as potential candidates for epitope- based vaccine development. Among the 5 selected epitopes, the peptide LRARSVSPK can be the most potent epitope because of its high geometric shape complementarity score, low ACE and very high response towards it by the world population (81.81% global population coverage). Further, molecular dynamic simulation analysis indicated the formation of a stable epitope-MHCII complex. The epitope LRARSVSPK was also found to be highly conserved among the SARS-CoV- -2 isolated from different countries. CONCLUSION: The study has predicted T-cell epitopes that can elicit a robust immune response in the global human population and act as potential vaccine candidates. However, the ability of these epitopes to act as vaccine candidate needs to be validated in wet lab studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
2.
J Infect Dis ; 224(6): 956-966, 2021 09 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1429243

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to be a major public health challenge globally. The identification of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-derived T-cell epitopes is of critical importance for peptide vaccines or diagnostic tools of COVID-19. METHODS: In this study, several SARS-CoV-2-derived human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-I binding peptides were predicted by NetMHCpan-4.1 and selected by Popcover to achieve pancoverage of the Chinese population. The top 5 ranked peptides derived from each protein of SARS-CoV-2 were then evaluated using peripheral blood mononuclear cells from unexposed individuals (negative for SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G). RESULTS: Seven epitopes derived from 4 SARS-CoV-2 proteins were identified. It is interesting to note that most (5 of 7) of the SARS-CoV-2-derived peptides with predicted affinities for HLA-I molecules were identified as HLA-II-restricted epitopes and induced CD4+ T cell-dependent responses. These results complete missing pieces of pre-existing SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells and suggest that pre-existing T cells targeting all SARS-CoV-2-encoded proteins can be discovered in unexposed populations. CONCLUSIONS: In summary, in the current study, we present an alternative and effective strategy for the identification of T-cell epitopes of SARS-CoV-2 in healthy subjects, which may indicate an important role in the development of peptide vaccines for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Cell Line , Humans , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 8(3)2020 Jul 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389560

ABSTRACT

The efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid-based vaccines may be limited by proteolysis of the translated product due to anomalous protein folding. This may be the case for vaccines employing linear SARS-CoV-2 B-cell epitopes identified in previous studies since most of them participate in secondary structure formation. In contrast, we have employed a consensus of predictors for epitopic zones plus a structural filter for identifying 20 unstructured B-cell epitope-containing loops (uBCELs) in S, M, and N proteins. Phylogenetic comparison suggests epitope switching with respect to SARS-CoV in some of the identified uBCELs. Such events may be associated with the reported lack of serum cross-protection between the 2003 and 2019 pandemic strains. Incipient variability within a sample of 1639 SARS-CoV-2 isolates was also detected for 10 uBCELs which could cause vaccine failure. Intermediate stages of the putative epitope switch events were observed in bat coronaviruses in which additive mutational processes possibly facilitating evasion of the bat immune system appear to have taken place prior to transfer to humans. While there was some overlap between uBCELs and previously validated SARS-CoV B-cell epitopes, multiple uBCELs had not been identified in prior studies. Overall, these uBCELs may facilitate the development of biomedical products for SARS-CoV-2.

4.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(6): 100312, 2021 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275763

ABSTRACT

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


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , HLA Antigens/genetics , Humans , Immunity , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , T-Lymphocytes/cytology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism
5.
J Virol ; 95(17): e0066721, 2021 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1274527

ABSTRACT

Cellular immune responses play a key role in the control of viral infection. The nucleocapsid (N) protein of infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is a major immunogenic protein that can induce protective immunity. To screen for potential T-cell epitopes on IBV N protein, 40 overlapping peptides covering the entirety of the N protein were designed and synthesized. Four T-cell epitope peptides were identified by gamma interferon (IFN-γ) enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISpot), intracellular cytokine staining, and carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester (CFSE) lymphocyte proliferation assays; among them, three peptides (N211-230, N271-290, and N381-400) were cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) epitopes, and one peptide (N261-280) was a dual-specific T-cell epitope, which can be recognized by both CD8+ and CD4+ T cells. Multi-epitope gene transcription cassettes comprising four neutralizing epitope domains and four T-cell epitope peptides were synthesized and inserted into the genome of Newcastle disease virus strain La Sota between the P and M genes. Recombinant IBV multi-epitope vaccine candidate rLa Sota/SBNT was generated via reverse genetics, and its immune protection efficacy was evaluated in specific-pathogen-free chickens. Our results show that rLa Sota/SBNT induced IBV-specific neutralizing antibody and T-cell responses and provided significant protection against homologous and heterologous IBV challenge. Thus, the T-cell epitope peptides identified in this study could be good candidates for IBV vaccine development, and recombinant Newcastle disease virus-expressing IBV multi-epitope genes represent a safe and effective vaccine candidate for controlling infectious bronchitis. IMPORTANCE T-cell-mediated immune responses are critical for the elimination of IBV-infected cells. To screen conserved T-cell epitopes in the IBV N protein, 40 overlapping peptides covering the entirety of the N protein were designed and synthesized. By combining IFN-γ ELISpot, intracellular cytokine staining, and CFSE lymphocyte proliferation assays, we identified three CTL epitopes and one dual-specific T-cell epitope. The value of T-cell epitope peptides identified in the N protein was further verified by the design of an IBV multi-epitope vaccine. Results show that IBV multi-epitope vaccine candidate rLa Sota/SBNT provided cross protection against challenges with a QX-like or a TW-like IBV strain. So, T-cell-mediated immune responses play an important role in the control of viral infection, and conserved T-cell epitopes serve as promising candidates for use in multi-epitope vaccine construction. Our results provide a new perspective for the development of a safer and more effective IBV vaccine.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Immunity, Cellular/immunology , Infectious bronchitis virus/immunology , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Poultry Diseases/prevention & control , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage , Animals , Chickens , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Immunity, Cellular/drug effects , Poultry Diseases/immunology , Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology
6.
J Biomed Sci ; 28(1): 43, 2021 Jun 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1261273

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) first appeared in the city of Wuhan, in the Hubei province of China. Since its emergence, the COVID-19-causing virus, SARS-CoV-2, has been rapidly transmitted around the globe, overwhelming the medical care systems in many countries and leading to more than 3.3 million deaths. Identification of immunological epitopes on the virus would be highly useful for the development of diagnostic tools and vaccines that will be critical to limiting further spread of COVID-19. METHODS: To find disease-specific B-cell epitopes that correspond to or mimic natural epitopes, we used phage display technology to determine the targets of specific antibodies present in the sera of immune-responsive COVID-19 patients. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were further applied to assess competitive antibody binding and serological detection. VaxiJen, BepiPred-2.0 and DiscoTope 2.0 were utilized for B-cell epitope prediction. PyMOL was used for protein structural analysis. RESULTS: 36 enriched peptides were identified by biopanning with antibodies from two COVID-19 patients; the peptides 4 motifs with consensus residues corresponding to two potential B-cell epitopes on SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins. The putative epitopes and hit peptides were then synthesized for validation by competitive antibody binding and serological detection. CONCLUSIONS: The identified B-cell epitopes on SARS-CoV-2 may aid investigations into COVID-19 pathogenesis and facilitate the development of epitope-based serological diagnostics and vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte , Peptide Library , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Proteins , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/genetics , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/immunology
7.
Immunol Cell Biol ; 99(9): 990-1000, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258941

ABSTRACT

In-depth understanding of human T-cell-mediated immunity in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is needed if we are to optimize vaccine strategies and immunotherapies. Identification of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) T-cell epitopes and generation of peptide-human leukocyte antigen (peptide-HLA) tetramers facilitate direct ex vivo analyses of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells and their T-cell receptor (TCR) repertoires. We utilized a combination of peptide prediction and in vitro peptide stimulation to validate novel SARS-CoV-2 epitopes restricted by HLA-A*24:02, one of the most prominent HLA class I alleles, especially in Indigenous and Asian populations. Of the peptides screened, three spike-derived peptides generated CD8+ IFNγ+ responses above background, S1208-1216 (QYIKWPWYI), S448-456 (NYNYLYRLF) and S193-201 (VFKNIDGYF), with S1208 generating immunodominant CD8+ IFNγ+ responses. Using peptide-HLA-I tetramers, we performed direct ex vivo tetramer enrichment for HLA-A*24:02-restricted CD8+ T cells in COVID-19 patients and prepandemic controls. The precursor frequencies for HLA-A*24:02-restricted epitopes were within the range previously observed for other SARS-CoV-2 epitopes for both COVID-19 patients and prepandemic individuals. Naïve A24/SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T cells increased nearly 7.5-fold above the average precursor frequency during COVID-19, gaining effector and memory phenotypes. Ex vivo single-cell analyses of TCRαß repertoires found that the A24/S448 + CD8+ T-cell TCRαß repertoire was driven by a common TCRß chain motif, whereas the A24/S1208 + CD8+ TCRαß repertoire was diverse across COVID-19 patients. Our study provides an in depth characterization and important insights into SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T-cell responses associated with a prominent HLA-A*24:02 allomorph. This contributes to our knowledge on adaptive immune responses during primary COVID-19 and could be exploited in vaccine or immunotherapeutic approaches.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 , HLA-A24 Antigen , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
8.
NPJ Vaccines ; 6(1): 71, 2021 May 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1228257

ABSTRACT

Natural and vaccine-induced SARS-CoV-2 immunity in humans has been described but correlates of protection are not yet defined. T cells support the SARS-CoV-2 antibody response, clear virus-infected cells, and may be required to block transmission. In this study, we identified peptide epitopes associated with SARS-CoV-2 T-cell immunity. Using immunoinformatic methods, T-cell epitopes from spike, membrane, and envelope were selected for maximal HLA-binding potential, coverage of HLA diversity, coverage of circulating virus, and minimal potential cross-reactivity with self. Direct restimulation of PBMCs collected from SARS-CoV-2 convalescents confirmed 66% of predicted epitopes, whereas only 9% were confirmed in naive individuals. However, following a brief period of epitope-specific T-cell expansion, both cohorts demonstrated robust T-cell responses to 97% of epitopes. HLA-DR3 transgenic mouse immunization with peptides co-formulated with poly-ICLC generated a potent Th1-skewed, epitope-specific memory response, alleviating safety concerns of enhanced respiratory disease associated with Th2 induction. Taken together, these epitopes may be used to improve our understanding of natural and vaccine-induced immunity, and to facilitate the development of T-cell-targeted vaccines that harness pre-existing SARS-CoV-2 immunity.

9.
J Immunol ; 206(11): 2527-2535, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1227097

ABSTRACT

The T cell response is an important detection index in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccine development. The present study was undertaken to determine the T cell epitopes in the spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 that dominate the T cell responses in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. PBMCs from rhesus macaques vaccinated with a DNA vaccine encoding the full-length S protein were isolated, and an ELISPOT assay was used to identify the recognized T cell epitopes among a total of 158 18-mer and 10-aa-overlapping peptides spanning the full-length S protein. Six multipeptide-based epitopes located in the S1 region, with four of the six located in the receptor-binding domain, were defined as the most frequently recognized epitopes in macaques. The conservation of the epitopes across species was also verified, and peptide mixtures for T cell response detection were established. Six newly defined T cell epitopes were found in the current study, which may provide a novel potential target for T cell response detection and the diagnosis and vaccine design of SARS-CoV-2 based on multipeptide subunit-based epitopes.


Subject(s)
Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Macaca mulatta
10.
Chimia (Aarau) ; 75(4): 276-284, 2021 Apr 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1204184

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for the current public health crisis with devastating consequences to our societies. This COVID-19 pandemic has become the most serious threat to global public health in recent history. Given the unprecedented economic and social impact that it is causing, identification of immunodominant epitopes from SARS-CoV-2 is of great interest, not only to gain better insight into the adaptive immune response, but also for the development of vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tools. In this review, we summarize the already published or preprinted reports on the experimental identification of B-cell linear epitopes of SARS-CoV-2 proteins. Six different epitopes leading to neutralizing antibodies have been identified. Moreover, a summary of peptide candidates to be used for diagnostic tools is also included.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , B-Lymphocytes , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Can J Infect Dis Med Microbiol ; 2021: 6627141, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201679

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 (Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2) is a newly emerged beta coronavirus and etiolating agent of COVID-19. Considering the unprecedented increasing number of COVID-19 cases, the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency internationally on 11th March 2020. However, existing drugs are insufficient in dealing with this contagious virus infection; therefore, a vaccine is exigent to curb this pandemic disease. In the present study, B- and T-cell immune epitopes were identified for RdRp (RNA-dependent RNA polymerase) protein using immunoinformatic techniques, which is proved to be a rapid and efficient method to explore the candidate peptide vaccine. Subsequently, antigenicity and interactions with HLA (human leukocyte antigen) alleles were estimated. Further, physicochemical properties, allergenicity, toxicity, and stability of RdRp protein were evaluated to demonstrate the specificity of the epitope candidates. Interestingly, we identified a total of 36 B-cell and 16 T-cell epitopes using epitopes predictive tools. Among the predicted epitopes, 26 B-cell and 9 T-cell epitopes showed non-allergenic, non-toxic, and highly antigenic properties. Altogether, our study revealed that RdRp of SARS-CoV-2 (an epitope-based peptide fragment) can be a potentially good candidate for the development of a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2.

12.
Front Immunol ; 12: 636118, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1190312

ABSTRACT

Following respiratory viral infections or local immunizations, lung resident-memory T cells (TRM) of the CD8 lineage provide protection against the same pathogen or related pathogens with cross-reactive T cell epitopes. Yet, it is now clear that, if homeostatic controls are lost following viral pneumonia, CD8 TRM cells can mediate pulmonary pathology. We recently showed that the aging process can result in loss of homeostatic controls on CD8 TRM cells in the respiratory tract. This may be germane to treatment modalities in both influenza and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients, particularly, the portion that present with symptoms linked to long-lasting lung dysfunction. Here, we review the developmental cues and functionalities of CD8 TRM cells in viral pneumonia models with a particular focus on their capacity to mediate heterogeneous responses of immunity and pathology depending on immune status.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Immunologic Memory , Lung/immunology , Lung/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Age Factors , Animals , Biomarkers , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Disease Resistance/immunology , Homeostasis , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Lymphocyte Count , Pulmonary Fibrosis/etiology , Pulmonary Fibrosis/metabolism , Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/metabolism , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/pathology
13.
J Virol ; 95(6)2021 02 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1150200

ABSTRACT

Developing optimal T-cell response assays to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is critical for measuring the duration of immunity to this disease and assessing the efficacy of vaccine candidates. These assays need to target conserved regions of SARS-CoV-2 global variants and avoid cross-reactivity to seasonal human coronaviruses. To contribute to this effort, we employed an in silico immunoinformatics analysis pipeline to identify immunogenic peptides resulting from conserved and highly networked regions with topological importance from the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid and spike proteins. A total of 57 highly networked T-cell epitopes that are conserved across geographic viral variants were identified from these viral proteins, with a binding potential to diverse HLA alleles and 80 to 100% global population coverage. Importantly, 18 of these T-cell epitope derived peptides had limited homology to seasonal human coronaviruses making them promising candidates for SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell immunity assays. Moreover, two of the NC-derived peptides elicited effector/polyfunctional responses of CD8+ T cells derived from SARS-CoV-2 convalescent patients.IMPORTANCE The development of specific and validated immunologic tools is critical for understanding the level and duration of the cellular response induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection and/or vaccines against this novel coronavirus disease. To contribute to this effort, we employed an immunoinformatics analysis pipeline to define 57 SARS-CoV-2 immunogenic peptides within topologically important regions of the nucleocapsid (NC) and spike (S) proteins that will be effective for detecting cellular immune responses in 80 to 100% of the global population. Our immunoinformatics analysis revealed that 18 of these peptides had limited homology to circulating seasonal human coronaviruses and therefore are promising candidates for distinguishing SARS-CoV-2-specific immune responses from pre-existing coronavirus immunity. Importantly, CD8+ T cells derived from SARS-CoV-2 survivors exhibited polyfunctional effector responses to two novel NC-derived peptides identified as HLA-binders. These studies provide a proof of concept that our immunoinformatics analysis pipeline identifies novel immunogens which can elicit polyfunctional SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell responses.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , Antigen Presentation , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Computational Biology , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/genetics , HLA Antigens/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Mutation , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Species Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
14.
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0248061, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1138580

ABSTRACT

Developing an efficacious vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 infection is critical to stemming COVID-19 fatalities and providing the global community with immune protection. We have used a bioinformatic approach to aid in designing an epitope peptide-based vaccine against the spike protein of the virus. Five antigenic B cell epitopes with viable antigenicity and a total of 27 discontinuous B cell epitopes were mapped out structurally in the spike protein for antibody recognition. We identified eight CD8+ T cell 9-mers and 12 CD4+ T cell 14-15-mer as promising candidate epitopes putatively restricted by a large number of MHC I and II alleles, respectively. We used this information to construct an in silico chimeric peptide vaccine whose translational rate was highly expressed when cloned in pET28a (+) vector. With our In silico test, the vaccine construct was predicted to elicit high antigenicity and cell-mediated immunity when given as a homologous prime-boost, triggering of toll-like receptor 5 by the adjuvant linker. The vaccine was also characterized by an increase in IgM and IgG and an array of Th1 and Th2 cytokines. Upon in silico challenge with SARS-CoV-2, there was a decrease in antigen levels using our immune simulations. We, therefore, propose that potential vaccine designs consider this approach.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Computational Biology/methods , Cytokines/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/immunology , Histocompatibility Antigens Class II/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Cellular/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Molecular Docking Simulation , Peptides/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology
15.
Biomed Res Int ; 2021: 1596834, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1138452

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronaviruses (CoVs) are enveloped positive-strand RNA viruses which have club-like spikes at the surface with a unique replication process. Coronaviruses are categorized as major pathogenic viruses causing a variety of diseases in birds and mammals including humans (lethal respiratory dysfunctions). Nowadays, a new strain of coronaviruses is identified and named as SARS-CoV-2. Multiple cases of SARS-CoV-2 attacks are being reported all over the world. SARS-CoV-2 showed high death rate; however, no specific treatment is available against SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: In the current study, immunoinformatics approaches were employed to predict the antigenic epitopes against SARS-CoV-2 for the development of the coronavirus vaccine. Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte and B-cell epitopes were predicted for SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus protein. Multiple sequence alignment of three genomes (SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2) was used to conserved binding domain analysis. RESULTS: The docking complexes of 4 CTL epitopes with antigenic sites were analyzed followed by binding affinity and binding interaction analyses of top-ranked predicted peptides with MHC-I HLA molecule. The molecular docking (Food and Drug Regulatory Authority library) was performed, and four compounds exhibiting least binding energy were identified. The designed epitopes lead to the molecular docking against MHC-I, and interactional analyses of the selected docked complexes were investigated. In conclusion, four CTL epitopes (GTDLEGNFY, TVNVLAWLY, GSVGFNIDY, and QTFSVLACY) and four FDA-scrutinized compounds exhibited potential targets as peptide vaccines and potential biomolecules against deadly SARS-CoV-2, respectively. A multiepitope vaccine was also designed from different epitopes of coronavirus proteins joined by linkers and led by an adjuvant. CONCLUSION: Our investigations predicted epitopes and the reported molecules that may have the potential to inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 virus. These findings can be a step towards the development of a peptide-based vaccine or natural compound drug target against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation/methods
16.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 5402, 2021 03 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1123146

ABSTRACT

Most multiple sclerosis (MS) patients given currently available disease-modifying drugs (DMDs) experience progressive disability. Accordingly, there is a need for new treatments that can limit the generation of new waves T cell autoreactivity that drive disease progression. Notably, immune cells express GABAA-receptors (GABAA-Rs) whose activation has anti-inflammatory effects such that GABA administration can ameliorate disease in models of type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and COVID-19. Here, we show that oral GABA, which cannot cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB), does not affect the course of murine experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). In contrast, oral administration of the BBB-permeable GABAA-R-specific agonist homotaurine ameliorates monophasic EAE, as well as advanced-stage relapsing-remitting EAE (RR-EAE). Homotaurine treatment beginning after the first peak of paralysis reduced the spreading of Th17 and Th1 responses from the priming immunogen to a new myelin T cell epitope within the CNS. Antigen-presenting cells (APC) isolated from homotaurine-treated mice displayed an attenuated ability to promote autoantigen-specific T cell proliferation. The ability of homotaurine treatment to limit epitope spreading within the CNS, along with its safety record, makes it an excellent candidate to help treat MS and other inflammatory disorders of the CNS.


Subject(s)
Central Nervous System/pathology , Multiple Sclerosis/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Taurine/analogs & derivatives , Animals , Antigen Presentation/drug effects , Antigen-Presenting Cells/drug effects , Antigen-Presenting Cells/immunology , Cell Proliferation/drug effects , Central Nervous System/drug effects , Central Nervous System/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Disease Progression , Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental/immunology , Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental/pathology , Female , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Multiple Sclerosis/pathology , Myelin Proteolipid Protein/immunology , Peptide Fragments/immunology , Recurrence , Spleen/pathology , T-Lymphocytes/drug effects , Taurine/pharmacology , gamma-Aminobutyric Acid/pharmacology
17.
J Biomol Struct Dyn ; : 1-26, 2021 Feb 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1081511

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the most cryptic pandemic outbreak of the 21st century, has gripped more than 1.8 million people to death and infected almost eighty six million. As it is a new variant of SARS, there is no approved drug or vaccine available against this virus. This study aims to predict some promising cytotoxic T lymphocyte epitopes in the SARS-CoV-2 proteome utilizing immunoinformatic approaches. Firstly, we identified 21 epitopes from 7 different proteins of SARS-CoV-2 inducing immune response and checked for allergenicity and conservancy. Based on these factors, we selected the top three epitopes, namely KAYNVTQAF, ATSRTLSYY, and LTALRLCAY showing functional interactions with the maximum number of MHC alleles and no allergenicity. Secondly, the 3D model of selected epitopes and HLA-A*29:02 were built and Molecular Docking simulation was performed. Most interestingly, the best two epitopes predicted by docking are part of two different structural proteins of SARS-CoV-2, namely Membrane Glycoprotein (ATSRTLSYY) and Nucleocapsid Phosphoprotein (KAYNVTQAF), which are generally target of choice for vaccine designing. Upon Molecular Docking, interactions between selected epitopes and HLA-A*29:02 were further validated by 50 ns Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulation. Analysis of RMSD, Rg, SASA, number of hydrogen bonds, RMSF, MM-PBSA, PCA, and DCCM from MD suggested that ATSRTLSYY is the most stable and promising epitope than KAYNVTQAF epitope. Moreover, we also identified B-cell epitopes for each of the antigenic proteins of SARS CoV-2. Findings of our work will be a good resource for wet lab experiments and will lessen the timeline for vaccine construction.Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma.

18.
Front Immunol ; 11: 617089, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1084436

ABSTRACT

We sought to determine whether immune reactivity occurs between anti-SARS-CoV-2 protein antibodies and human tissue antigens, and whether molecular mimicry between COVID-19 viral proteins and human tissues could be the cause. We applied both human monoclonal anti-SARS-Cov-2 antibodies (spike protein, nucleoprotein) and rabbit polyclonal anti-SARS-Cov-2 antibodies (envelope protein, membrane protein) to 55 different tissue antigens. We found that SARS-CoV-2 antibodies had reactions with 28 out of 55 tissue antigens, representing a diversity of tissue groups that included barrier proteins, gastrointestinal, thyroid and neural tissues, and more. We also did selective epitope mapping using BLAST and showed similarities and homology between spike, nucleoprotein, and many other SARS-CoV-2 proteins with the human tissue antigens mitochondria M2, F-actin and TPO. This extensive immune cross-reactivity between SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and different antigen groups may play a role in the multi-system disease process of COVID-19, influence the severity of the disease, precipitate the onset of autoimmunity in susceptible subgroups, and potentially exacerbate autoimmunity in subjects that have pre-existing autoimmune diseases. Very recently, human monoclonal antibodies were approved for use on patients with COVID-19. The human monoclonal antibodies used in this study are almost identical with these approved antibodies. Thus, our results can establish the potential risk for autoimmunity and multi-system disorders with COVID-19 that may come from cross-reactivity between our own human tissues and this dreaded virus, and thus ensure that the badly-needed vaccines and treatments being developed for it are truly safe to use against this disease.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Autoimmunity/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Cross Reactions/immunology , Humans , Molecular Mimicry/immunology , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
19.
PLoS One ; 16(2): e0246731, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1079371

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 antibodies develop within two weeks of infection, but wane relatively rapidly post-infection, raising concerns about whether antibody responses will provide protection upon re-exposure. Here we revisit T-B cooperation as a prerequisite for effective and durable neutralizing antibody responses centered on a mutationally constrained RBM B cell epitope. T-B cooperation requires co-processing of B and T cell epitopes by the same B cell and is subject to MHC-II restriction. We evaluated MHC-II constraints relevant to the neutralizing antibody response to a mutationally-constrained B cell epitope in the receptor binding motif (RBM) of the spike protein. Examining common MHC-II alleles, we found that peptides surrounding this key B cell epitope are predicted to bind poorly, suggesting a lack MHC-II support in T-B cooperation, impacting generation of high-potency neutralizing antibodies in the general population. Additionally, we found that multiple microbial peptides had potential for RBM cross-reactivity, supporting previous exposures as a possible source of T cell memory.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Histocompatibility Antigens Class II/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Amino Acid Motifs , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Formation , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Computer Simulation , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Humans , Models, Molecular , Peptides/chemistry , Peptides/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
20.
Nat Immunol ; 22(1): 74-85, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065902

ABSTRACT

T cell immunity is central for the control of viral infections. To characterize T cell immunity, but also for the development of vaccines, identification of exact viral T cell epitopes is fundamental. Here we identify and characterize multiple dominant and subdominant SARS-CoV-2 HLA class I and HLA-DR peptides as potential T cell epitopes in COVID-19 convalescent and unexposed individuals. SARS-CoV-2-specific peptides enabled detection of post-infectious T cell immunity, even in seronegative convalescent individuals. Cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2 peptides revealed pre-existing T cell responses in 81% of unexposed individuals and validated similarity with common cold coronaviruses, providing a functional basis for heterologous immunity in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Diversity of SARS-CoV-2 T cell responses was associated with mild symptoms of COVID-19, providing evidence that immunity requires recognition of multiple epitopes. Together, the proposed SARS-CoV-2 T cell epitopes enable identification of heterologous and post-infectious T cell immunity and facilitate development of diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic measures for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Peptides/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Cross Reactions/immunology , HLA-DR Antigens/immunology , HLA-DR Antigens/metabolism , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/immunology , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/metabolism , Humans , Immunologic Memory/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage
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