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1.
Structure ; 30(8): 1062-1074.e4, 2022 Aug 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1946637

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a rapid response in vaccine and drug development. Herein, we modeled a complete membrane-embedded SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein and used molecular dynamics simulations with benzene probes designed to enhance discovery of cryptic pockets. This approach recapitulated lipid and host metabolite binding sites previously characterized by cryo-electron microscopy, revealing likely ligand entry routes, and uncovered a novel cryptic pocket with promising druggable properties located underneath the 617-628 loop. A full representation of glycan moieties was essential to accurately describe pocket dynamics. A multi-conformational behavior of the 617-628 loop in simulations was validated using hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry experiments, supportive of opening and closing dynamics. The pocket is the site of multiple mutations associated with increased transmissibility found in SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern including Omicron. Collectively, this work highlights the utility of the benzene mapping approach in uncovering potential druggable sites on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 targets.


Subject(s)
SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Benzene , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Binding , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
2.
Frontiers in immunology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1940080

ABSTRACT

Antibodies specific for the spike glycoprotein (S) and nucleocapsid (N) SARS-CoV-2 proteins are typically present during severe COVID-19, and induced to S after vaccination. The binding of viral antigens by antibody can initiate the classical complement pathway. Since complement could play pathological or protective roles at distinct times during SARS-CoV-2 infection we determined levels of antibody-dependent complement activation along the complement cascade. Here, we used an ELISA assay to assess complement protein binding (C1q) and the deposition of C4b, C3b, and C5b to S and N antigens in the presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 from different test groups: non-infected, single and double vaccinees, non-hospitalised convalescent (NHC) COVID-19 patients and convalescent hospitalised (ITU-CONV) COVID-19 patients. C1q binding correlates strongly with antibody responses, especially IgG1 levels. However, detection of downstream complement components, C4b, C3b and C5b shows some variability associated with the subject group from whom the sera were obtained. In the ITU-CONV, detection of C3b-C5b to S was observed consistently, but this was not the case in the NHC group. This is in contrast to responses to N, where median levels of complement deposition did not differ between the NHC and ITU-CONV groups. Moreover, for S but not N, downstream complement components were only detected in sera with higher IgG1 levels. Therefore, the classical pathway is activated by antibodies to multiple SARS-CoV-2 antigens, but the downstream effects of this activation may differ depending the disease status of the subject and on the specific antigen targeted.

3.
Cardiovasc Res ; 2022 Jun 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1901161

ABSTRACT

AIMS: Thrombotic complications and vasculopathy have been extensively associated with severe COVID-19 infection, however the mechanisms inducing endotheliitis and the disruption of endothelial integrity in the microcirculation are poorly understood. We hypothesized that within the vessel wall, pericytes preferentially take up viral particles and mediate the subsequent loss of vascular integrity. METHODS AND RESULTS: Immunofluorescence of post-mortem patient sections were used to assess pathophysiological aspects of COVID19 infection. The effects of COVID-19 on the microvasculature were assessed using a vascular organoid model exposed to live viral particles or recombinant viral antigens. We find increased expression of the viral entry receptor ACE2 on pericytes when compared to vascular endothelium, and a reduction in the expression of the junctional protein CD144, as well as increased cell death, upon treatment with both live virus and/or viral antigens. We observe a dysregulation of genes implicated in vascular permeability including NOTCH3, angiopoietin-2 and TEK. Activation of vascular organoids with IL-1ß did not have an additive effect on vascular permeability. Spike antigen was detected in some patients' lung pericytes, which was associated with a decrease in CD144 expression and increased platelet recruitment and VWF deposition in the capillaries of these patients, with thrombi in large vessels rich in VWF and fibrin. CONCLUSIONS: Together our data indicates that direct viral exposure to the microvasculature modelled by organoid infection and viral antigen treatment result in pericyte infection, detachment, damage and cell death, disrupting pericyte-endothelial cell crosstalk and increasing microvascular endothelial permeability, which can promote thrombotic and bleeding complications in the microcirculation. TRANSLATIONAL PERSPECTIVE: Endotheliitis is a serious complication of severe COVID-19 patients which remains poorly understood. We identify a pericyte mediated mechanism by which the vasculature becomes compromised, contributing to thrombotic complications, highlighting important avenues for the development of therapies.

4.
Curr Opin Struct Biol ; 75: 102402, 2022 May 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852027

ABSTRACT

The structure and post-translational processing of the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein (S) is intimately associated with the function of the virus and of sterilising vaccines. The surface of the S protein is extensively modified by glycans, and their biosynthesis is driven by both the wider cellular context, and importantly, the underlining protein structure and local glycan density. Comparison of virally derived S protein with both recombinantly derived and adenovirally induced proteins, reveal hotspots of protein-directed glycosylation that drive conserved glycosylation motifs. Molecular dynamics simulations revealed that, while the S surface is extensively shielded by N-glycans, it presents regions vulnerable to neutralising antibodies. Furthermore, glycans have been shown to influence the accessibility of the receptor binding domain and the binding to the cellular receptor. The emerging picture is one of unifying, principles of S protein glycosylation and an intimate role of glycosylation in immunogen structure and efficacy.

5.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-332392

ABSTRACT

CD4 + T-cells are essential for protection against viruses including SARS-CoV-2. Mutations in SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) can enhance infectivity and reduce antibody recognition. CD4 + T-cell sensitivity to mutations is less well understood because few epitopes have been mapped. Characterising > 100 SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4 + T-cell clones from convalescent healthcare workers, we mapped and HLAII restricted 21 epitopes across three viral proteins. Responses to the same spike epitopes were also present after vaccination of uninfected individuals. Lack of CD4 + T-cell cross-reactivity with endemic beta-coronaviruses suggests these responses arose from naïve T-cells rather than pre-existing cross-reactive coronavirus-specific T-cell responses. 10/17 spike epitopes were mutated in VOCs and CD4 + T-cell recognition of 7 was impaired, including 3 of 4 epitopes mutated in Omicron. Broad CD4 + T-cell targeting of epitopes likely limits evasion by current VOCs. However, continued genomic surveillance is vital to identify new emerging mutations able to evade CD4 + T-cell immunity.

6.
NPJ Vaccines ; 7(1): 27, 2022 Feb 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1713166

ABSTRACT

Soluble HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env) immunogens are a prime constituent of candidate vaccines designed to induce broadly neutralizing antibodies. Several lines of evidence suggest that enhancing Env immunogen thermostability can improve neutralizing antibody (NAb) responses. Here, we generated BG505 SOSIP.v9 trimers, which displayed virtually no reactivity with non-neutralizing antibodies and showed increased global and epitope thermostability, compared to previous BG505 SOSIP versions. Chemical crosslinking of BG505 SOSIP.v9 further increased the melting temperature to 91.3 °C, which is almost 25 °C higher than that of the prototype SOSIP.664 trimer. Next, we compared the immunogenicity of a palette of BG505-based SOSIP trimers with a gradient of thermostabilities in rabbits. We also included SOSIP.v9 proteins in which a strain-specific immunodominant epitope was masked by glycans to redirect the NAb response to other subdominant epitopes. We found that increased trimer thermostability correlated with increased potency and consistency of the autologous NAb response. Furthermore, glycan masking steered the NAb response to subdominant epitopes without decreasing the potency of the autologous NAb response. In summary, SOSIP.v9 trimers and their glycan masked versions represent an improved platform for HIV-1 Env based vaccination strategies.

7.
Cell Rep ; 38(5): 110318, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1654152

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines may target epitopes that reduce durability or increase the potential for escape from vaccine-induced immunity. Using synthetic vaccinology, we have developed rationally immune-focused SARS-CoV-2 Spike-based vaccines. Glycans can be employed to alter antibody responses to infection and vaccines. Utilizing computational modeling and in vitro screening, we have incorporated glycans into the receptor-binding domain (RBD) and assessed antigenic profiles. We demonstrate that glycan-coated RBD immunogens elicit stronger neutralizing antibodies and have engineered seven multivalent configurations. Advanced DNA delivery of engineered nanoparticle vaccines rapidly elicits potent neutralizing antibodies in guinea pigs, hamsters, and multiple mouse models, including human ACE2 and human antibody repertoire transgenics. RBD nanoparticles induce high levels of cross-neutralizing antibodies against variants of concern with durable titers beyond 6 months. Single, low-dose immunization protects against a lethal SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Single-dose coronavirus vaccines via DNA-launched nanoparticles provide a platform for rapid clinical translation of potent and durable coronavirus vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Nanoparticles/administration & dosage , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Binding Sites , COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Cricetinae , Epitopes , Guinea Pigs , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Mice , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Nucleic Acid-Based Vaccines/administration & dosage , Nucleic Acid-Based Vaccines/chemistry , Nucleic Acid-Based Vaccines/genetics , Nucleic Acid-Based Vaccines/immunology , Polysaccharides/chemistry , Polysaccharides/genetics , Polysaccharides/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccine Potency
8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293006

ABSTRACT

Antibodies specific for the spike glycoprotein (S) and nucleocapsid (N) SARS-CoV-2 proteins are typically present during severe COVID-19, and induced to S after vaccination. The binding of viral antigens by antibody can initiate the classical complement pathway. Since complement could play pathological or protective roles at distinct times during SARS-CoV-2 infection we determined levels of antibody-dependent complement activation along the complement cascade. Here, we used an ELISA assay to assess complement protein binding (C1q) and the deposition of C4b, C3b, and C5b to S and N antigens in the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies from different test groups: non-infected, single and double vaccinees, non-hospitalised convalescent (NHC) COVID-19 patients and convalescent hospitalised (ITU-CONV) COVID-19 patients. C1q binding correlates strongly with antibody responses, especially IgG1 levels. However, detection of downstream complement components, C4b, C3b and C5b shows some variability associated with the antigen and subjects studied. In the ITU-CONV, detection of C3b-C5b to S was observed consistently, but this was not the case in the NHC group. This is in contrast to responses to N, where median levels of complement deposition did not differ between the NHC and ITU-CONV groups. Moreover, for S but not N, downstream complement components were only detected in sera with higher IgG1 levels. Therefore, the classical pathway is activated by antibodies to multiple SARS-CoV-2 antigens, but the downstream effects of this activation may differ depending on the specific antigen targeted and the disease status of the subject.

9.
J Mol Biol ; 434(2): 167332, 2022 01 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1492301

ABSTRACT

Extensive glycosylation of viral glycoproteins is a key feature of the antigenic surface of viruses and yet glycan processing can also be influenced by the manner of their recombinant production. The low yields of the soluble form of the trimeric spike (S) glycoprotein from SARS-CoV-2 has prompted advances in protein engineering that have greatly enhanced the stability and yields of the glycoprotein. The latest expression-enhanced version of the spike incorporates six proline substitutions to stabilize the prefusion conformation (termed SARS-CoV-2 S HexaPro). Although the substitutions greatly enhanced expression whilst not compromising protein structure, the influence of these substitutions on glycan processing has not been explored. Here, we show that the site-specific N-linked glycosylation of the expression-enhanced HexaPro resembles that of an earlier version containing two proline substitutions (2P), and that both capture features of native viral glycosylation. However, there are site-specific differences in glycosylation of HexaPro when compared to 2P. Despite these discrepancies, analysis of the serological reactivity of clinical samples from infected individuals confirmed that both HexaPro and 2P protein are equally able to detect IgG, IgA, and IgM responses in all sera analysed. Moreover, we extend this observation to include an analysis of glycan engineered S protein, whereby all N-linked glycans were converted to oligomannose-type and conclude that serological activity is not impacted by large scale changes in glycosylation. These observations suggest that variations in glycan processing will not impact the serological assessments currently being performed across the globe.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Mutation, Missense/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Glycosylation , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Mannose/metabolism , Mutation, Missense/genetics , Oligosaccharides/metabolism , Polysaccharides/metabolism , Proline/genetics , Proline/immunology , Proline/metabolism , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
10.
Anal Chem ; 93(43): 14392-14400, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475240

ABSTRACT

Understanding the glycosylation of the envelope spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 is important in defining the antigenic surface of this key viral target. However, the underlying protein architecture may significantly influence glycan occupancy and processing. There is, therefore, potential for different recombinant fragments of S protein to display divergent glycosylation. Here, we show that the receptor binding domain (RBD), when expressed as a monomer, exhibits O-linked glycosylation, which is not recapitulated in the native-like soluble trimeric protein. We unambiguously assign O-linked glycosylation by homogenizing N-linked glycosylation using the enzymatic inhibitor, kifunensine, and then analyzing the resulting structures by electron-transfer higher-energy collision dissociation (EThcD) in an Orbitrap Eclipse Tribrid instrument. In the native-like trimer, we observe a single unambiguous O-linked glycan at T323, which displays very low occupancy. In contrast, several sites of O-linked glycosylation can be identified when RBD is expressed as a monomer, with T323 being almost completely occupied. We ascribe this effect to the relaxation of steric restraints arising from quaternary protein architecture. Our analytical approach has also highlighted that fragmentation ions arising from trace levels of truncated N-linked glycans can be misassigned as proximal putative O-linked glycan structures, particularly where a paucity of diagnostic fragments were obtained. Overall, we show that in matched expression systems the quaternary protein architecture limits O-linked glycosylation of the spike protein.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Glycosylation , Humans , Polysaccharides , Protein Binding , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
11.
BMJ Open Respir Res ; 8(1)2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438095

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To determine clinical and ethnodemographic correlates of serological responses against the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein following mild-to-moderate COVID-19. DESIGN: A retrospective cohort study of healthcare workers who had self-isolated due to COVID-19. SETTING: University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, UK (UHBFT). PARTICIPANTS: 956 healthcare workers were recruited by open invitation via UHBFT trust email and social media between 27 April 2020 and the 8 June 2020. INTERVENTION: Participants volunteered a venous blood sample that was tested for the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein antibodies. Results were interpreted in the context of the symptoms of their original illness and ethnodemographic variables. RESULTS: Using an assay that simultaneously measures the combined IgG, IgA and IgM response against the spike glycoprotein (IgGAM), the overall seroprevalence within this cohort was 46.2% (n=442/956). The seroprevalence of immunoglobulin isotypes was 36.3%, 18.7% and 8.1% for IgG, IgA and IgM, respectively. IgGAM identified serological responses in 40.6% (n=52/128) of symptomatic individuals who reported a negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR test. Increasing age, non-white ethnicity and obesity were independently associated with greater IgG antibody response against the spike glycoprotein. Self-reported fever and fatigue were associated with greater IgG and IgA responses against the spike glycoprotein. The combination of fever and/or cough and/or anosmia had a positive predictive value of 92.3% for seropositivity in self-isolating individuals a time when Wuhan strain SARS-CoV-2 was predominant. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Assays employing combined antibody detection demonstrate enhanced seroepidemiological sensitivity and can detect prior viral exposure even when PCR swabs have been negative. We demonstrate an association between known ethnodemographic risk factors associated with mortality from COVID-19 and the magnitude of serological responses in mild-to-moderate disease.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibody Formation , COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Seroepidemiologic Studies , United Kingdom
12.
Biochemistry ; 60(27): 2153-2169, 2021 07 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387101

ABSTRACT

A central tenet in the design of vaccines is the display of native-like antigens in the elicitation of protective immunity. The abundance of N-linked glycans across the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is a potential source of heterogeneity among the many different vaccine candidates under investigation. Here, we investigate the glycosylation of recombinant SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins from five different laboratories and compare them against S protein from infectious virus, cultured in Vero cells. We find patterns that are conserved across all samples, and this can be associated with site-specific stalling of glycan maturation that acts as a highly sensitive reporter of protein structure. Molecular dynamics simulations of a fully glycosylated spike support a model of steric restrictions that shape enzymatic processing of the glycans. These results suggest that recombinant spike-based SARS-CoV-2 immunogen glycosylation reproducibly recapitulates signatures of viral glycosylation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Protein Conformation , SARS-CoV-2/ultrastructure , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/ultrastructure , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Glycosylation , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Binding/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vero Cells
13.
J Mol Biol ; 433(4): 166762, 2021 02 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1386060

ABSTRACT

The severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection is highly variable and yet the molecular basis for this effect remains elusive. One potential contribution are differences in the glycosylation of target human cells, particularly as SARS-CoV-2 has the capacity to bind sialic acid which is a common, and highly variable, terminal modification of glycans. The viral spike glycoprotein (S) of SARS-CoV-2 and the human cellular receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) are both densely glycosylated. We therefore sought to investigate whether the glycosylation state of ACE2 impacts the interaction with SARS-CoV-2 viral spike. We generated a panel of engineered ACE2 glycoforms which were analyzed by mass spectrometry to reveal the site-specific glycan modifications. We then probed the impact of ACE2 glycosylation on S binding and revealed a subtle sensitivity with hypersialylated or oligomannose-type glycans slightly impeding the interaction. In contrast, deglycosylation of ACE2 did not influence SARS-CoV-2 binding. Overall, ACE2 glycosylation does not significantly influence viral spike binding. We suggest that any role of glycosylation in the pathobiology of SARS-CoV-2 will lie beyond its immediate impact of receptor glycosylation on virus binding.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Glycosylation , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Models, Molecular , Polysaccharides/analysis , Protein Binding
15.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(3): e1009407, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1338134

ABSTRACT

Incessant antigenic evolution enables the persistence and spread of influenza virus in the human population. As the principal target of the immune response, the hemagglutinin (HA) surface antigen on influenza viruses continuously acquires and replaces N-linked glycosylation sites to shield immunogenic protein epitopes using host-derived glycans. Anti-glycan antibodies, such as 2G12, target the HIV-1 envelope protein (Env), which is even more extensively glycosylated and contains under-processed oligomannose-type clusters on its dense glycan shield. Here, we illustrate that 2G12 can also neutralize human seasonal influenza A H3N2 viruses that have evolved to present similar oligomannose-type clusters on their HAs from around 20 years after the 1968 pandemic. Using structural biology and mass spectrometric approaches, we find that two N-glycosylation sites close to the receptor binding site (RBS) on influenza hemagglutinin represent the oligomannose cluster recognized by 2G12. One of these glycan sites is highly conserved in all human H3N2 strains and the other emerged during virus evolution. These two N-glycosylation sites have also become crucial for fitness of recent H3N2 strains. These findings shed light on the evolution of the glycan shield on influenza virus and suggest 2G12-like antibodies can potentially act as broad neutralizers to target human enveloped viruses.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , HIV-1/immunology , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/immunology , Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies , Cross Reactions , HIV Infections/immunology , Humans , Influenza, Human/immunology
16.
Immunology ; 164(1): 135-147, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295026

ABSTRACT

Detecting antibody responses during and after SARS-CoV-2 infection is essential in determining the seroepidemiology of the virus and the potential role of antibody in disease. Scalable, sensitive and specific serological assays are essential to this process. The detection of antibody in hospitalized patients with severe disease has proven relatively straightforward; detecting responses in subjects with mild disease and asymptomatic infections has proven less reliable. We hypothesized that the suboptimal sensitivity of antibody assays and the compartmentalization of the antibody response may contribute to this effect. We systematically developed an ELISA, optimizing different antigens and amplification steps, in serum and saliva from non-hospitalized SARS-CoV-2-infected subjects. Using trimeric spike glycoprotein, rather than nucleocapsid, enabled detection of responses in individuals with low antibody responses. IgG1 and IgG3 predominate to both antigens, but more anti-spike IgG1 than IgG3 was detectable. All antigens were effective for detecting responses in hospitalized patients. Anti-spike IgG, IgA and IgM antibody responses were readily detectable in saliva from a minority of RT-PCR confirmed, non-hospitalized symptomatic individuals, and these were mostly subjects who had the highest levels of anti-spike serum antibodies. Therefore, detecting antibody responses in both saliva and serum can contribute to determining virus exposure and understanding immune responses after SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Saliva
17.
Biochemistry ; 60(27): 2153-2169, 2021 07 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294429

ABSTRACT

A central tenet in the design of vaccines is the display of native-like antigens in the elicitation of protective immunity. The abundance of N-linked glycans across the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is a potential source of heterogeneity among the many different vaccine candidates under investigation. Here, we investigate the glycosylation of recombinant SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins from five different laboratories and compare them against S protein from infectious virus, cultured in Vero cells. We find patterns that are conserved across all samples, and this can be associated with site-specific stalling of glycan maturation that acts as a highly sensitive reporter of protein structure. Molecular dynamics simulations of a fully glycosylated spike support a model of steric restrictions that shape enzymatic processing of the glycans. These results suggest that recombinant spike-based SARS-CoV-2 immunogen glycosylation reproducibly recapitulates signatures of viral glycosylation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Protein Conformation , SARS-CoV-2/ultrastructure , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/ultrastructure , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Glycosylation , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Binding/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vero Cells
18.
ACS Cent Sci ; 7(4): 594-602, 2021 Apr 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225486

ABSTRACT

Vaccine development against the SARS-CoV-2 virus focuses on the principal target of the neutralizing immune response, the spike (S) glycoprotein. Adenovirus-vectored vaccines offer an effective platform for the delivery of viral antigen, but it is important for the generation of neutralizing antibodies that they produce appropriately processed and assembled viral antigen that mimics that observed on the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Here, we describe the structure, conformation, and glycosylation of the S protein derived from the adenovirus-vectored ChAdOx1 nCoV-19/AZD1222 vaccine. We demonstrate native-like post-translational processing and assembly, and reveal the expression of S proteins on the surface of cells adopting the trimeric prefusion conformation. The data presented here confirm the use of ChAdOx1 adenovirus vectors as a leading platform technology for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

19.
Cell ; 184(5): 1188-1200.e19, 2021 03 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1046538

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic is continuing to disrupt personal lives, global healthcare systems, and economies. Hence, there is an urgent need for a vaccine that prevents viral infection, transmission, and disease. Here, we present a two-component protein-based nanoparticle vaccine that displays multiple copies of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Immunization studies show that this vaccine induces potent neutralizing antibody responses in mice, rabbits, and cynomolgus macaques. The vaccine-induced immunity protects macaques against a high-dose challenge, resulting in strongly reduced viral infection and replication in the upper and lower airways. These nanoparticles are a promising vaccine candidate to curtail the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Macaca fascicularis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Models, Animal , Nanoparticles/administration & dosage , Rabbits , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/blood , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Viral Load
20.
Nat Genet ; 53(2): 205-214, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1023961

ABSTRACT

Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the main entry point in airway epithelial cells for SARS-CoV-2. ACE2 binding to the SARS-CoV-2 protein spike triggers viral fusion with the cell plasma membrane, resulting in viral RNA genome delivery into the host. Despite ACE2's critical role in SARS-CoV-2 infection, full understanding of ACE2 expression, including in response to viral infection, remains unclear. ACE2 was thought to encode five transcripts and one protein of 805 amino acids. In the present study, we identify a novel short isoform of ACE2 expressed in the airway epithelium, the main site of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Short ACE2 is substantially upregulated in response to interferon stimulation and rhinovirus infection, but not SARS-CoV-2 infection. This short isoform lacks SARS-CoV-2 spike high-affinity binding sites and, altogether, our data are consistent with a model where short ACE2 is unlikely to directly contribute to host susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Animals , Binding Sites , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Exons , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Interferons/immunology , Protein Binding , Protein Isoforms/genetics , RNA Splice Sites , RNA-Seq , Respiratory System/cytology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Transcriptome , Up-Regulation , Vero Cells
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