Publications
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Title & Authors Journal Publication Date

Human monoclonal antibodies against chikungunya virus target multiple distinct epitopes in the E1 and E2 glycoproteins


Quiroz JA, Malonis RJ, Thackray LB, Cohen CA, Pallesen J, Jangra RK, Brown RS, Hofmann D, Holtsberg FW, Shulenin S, Nyakatura EK, Durnell LA, Rayannavar V, Daily JP, Ward AB, Aman MJ, Dye JM, Chandran K, Diamond MS, Kielian M, Lai JR.
PLoS Pathogens Sept. 26, 2022

Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a mosquito-transmitted alphavirus that causes persistent arthritis in a subset of human patients. We report the isolation and functional characterization of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from two patients infected with CHIKV in the Dominican Republic. Single B cell sorting yielded a panel of 46 human mAbs of diverse germline lineages that targeted epitopes within the E1 or E2 glycoproteins. MAbs that recognized either E1 or E2 proteins exhibited neutralizing activity. Viral escape mutations localized the binding epitopes for two E1 mAbs to sites within domain I or the linker between domains I and III; and for two E2 mAbs between the β-connector region and the B-domain. Two of the E2-specific mAbs conferred protection in vivo in a stringent lethal challenge mouse model of CHIKV infection, whereas the E1 mAbs did not. These results provide insight into human antibody response to CHIKV and identify candidate mAbs for therapeutic intervention.

Innovations in structure-based antigen design and immune monitoring for next generation vaccines


Ward AB, Wilson IA.
Current Opinion in Immunology Sept. 22, 2022

The recent explosion of atomic-level structures of glycoproteins that comprise the surface antigens of human enveloped viruses, such as RSV, influenza, and HIV, provide tremendous opportunities for rational, structure-based vaccine design. Several concepts in structure-based vaccine design have been put into practice and are are well along preclinical and clinical implementation. Testing of these designed immunogens will provide key insights into the ability to induce the desired immune responses, namely neutralizing antibodies. Many of these immunogens in human clinical trials represent only the first wave of designs and will likely require continued tweaking and elaboration to achieve the ultimate goal of enhanced breadth and potency. Considerable effort is now being invested in germline targeting, epitope focusing, and improved immune presentation such as multivalent nanoparticle incorporation. This review highlights some of the recent advances in these areas as we prepare for the next generation of immunogens for subsequent rounds of iterative vaccine development.

Membrane-bound mRNA immunogens lower the threshold to activate HIV Env V2 apex-directed broadly neutralizing B cell precursors in humanized mice


Melzi E, Willis JR, Ma KM, Lin YC, Kratochvil S, Berndsen ZT, Landais EA, Kalyuzhniy O, Nair U, Warner J, Steichen JM, Kalyuzhniy A, Le A, Pecetta S, Perez M, Kirsch K, Weldon SR, Falcone S, Himansu S, Carfi A, Sok D, Ward AB, Schief WR, Batista FD.
Immunity Sept. 22, 2022

Eliciting broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) is the core of HIV vaccine design. bnAbs specific to the V2-apex region of the HIV envelope acquire breadth and potency with modest somatic hypermutation, making them attractive vaccination targets. To evaluate Apex germline-targeting (ApexGT) vaccine candidates, we engineered knockin (KI) mouse models expressing the germline B cell receptor (BCR) of the bnAb PCT64. We found that high affinity of the ApexGT immunogen for PCT64-germline BCRs was necessary to specifically activate KI B cells at human physiological frequencies, recruit them to germinal centers, and select for mature bnAb mutations. Relative to protein, mRNA-encoded membrane-bound ApexGT immunization significantly increased activation and recruitment of PCT64 precursors to germinal centers and lowered their affinity threshold. We have thus developed additional models for HIV vaccine research, validated ApexGT immunogens for priming V2-apex bnAb precursors, and identified mRNA-LNP as a suitable approach to substantially improve the B cell response.

Long-primed germinal centres with enduring affinity maturation and clonal migration


Lee JH, Sutton HJ, Cottrell CA, Phung I, Ozorowski G, Sewall LM, Nedellec R, Nakao C, Silva M, Richey ST, Torre JL, Lee WH, Georgeson E, Kubitz M, Hodges S, Mullen TM, Adachi Y, Cirelli KM, Kaur A, Allers C, Fahlberg M, Grasperge BF, Dufour JP, Schiro F, Aye PP, Kalyuzhniy O, Liguori A, Carnathan DG, Silvestri G, Shen X, Montefiori DC, Veazey RS, Ward AB, Hangartner L, Burton DR, Irvine DJ, Schief WR, Crotty S.
Nature Sept. 21, 2022

Germinal centres are the engines of antibody evolution. Here, using human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) Env protein immunogen priming in rhesus monkeys followed by a long period without further immunization, we demonstrate germinal centre B (BGC) cells that last for at least 6 months. A 186-fold increase in BGC cells was present by week 10 compared with conventional immunization. Single-cell transcriptional profiling showed that both light- and dark-zone germinal centre states were sustained. Antibody somatic hypermutation of BGC cells continued to accumulate throughout the 29-week priming period, with evidence of selective pressure. Env-binding BGC cells were still 49-fold above baseline at 29 weeks, which suggests that they could remain active for even longer periods of time. High titres of HIV-neutralizing antibodies were generated after a single booster immunization. Fully glycosylated HIV trimer protein is a complex antigen, posing considerable immunodominance challenges for B cells1,2. Memory B cells generated under these long priming conditions had higher levels of antibody somatic hypermutation, and both memory B cells and antibodies were more likely to recognize non-immunodominant epitopes. Numerous BGC cell lineage phylogenies spanning more than the 6-month germinal centre period were identified, demonstrating continuous germinal centre activity and selection for at least 191 days with no further antigen exposure. A long-prime, slow-delivery (12 days) immunization approach holds promise for difficult vaccine targets and suggests that patience can have great value for tuning of germinal centres to maximize antibody responses. Using HIV Env protein immunogen priming in rhesus monkeys followed by a long period without further immunization, we demonstrate germinal centre B cells lasting at least 6 months, showing promise in regard to difficult vaccine targets.

Molecular insights into antibody-mediated protection against the prototypic simian immunodeficiency virus


Zhao F, Berndsen ZT, Pedreño-Lopez N, Burns A, Allen JD, Barman S, Lee WH, Chakraborty S, Gnanakaran S, Sewall LM, Ozorowski G, Limbo O, Song G, Yong P, Callaghan S, Coppola J, Weisgrau KL, Lifson JD, Nedellec R, Voigt TB, Laurino F, Louw J, Rosen BC, Ricciardi M, Crispin M, Desrosiers RC, Rakasz EG, Watkins DI, Andrabi R, Ward AB, Burton DR, Sok D.
Nature Communications Sept. 6, 2022

SIVmac239 infection of macaques is a favored model of human HIV infection. However, the SIVmac239 envelope (Env) trimer structure, glycan occupancy, and the targets and ability of neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) to protect against SIVmac239 remain unknown. Here, we report the isolation of SIVmac239 nAbs that recognize a glycan hole and the V1/V4 loop. A high-resolution structure of a SIVmac239 Env trimer-nAb complex shows many similarities to HIV and SIVcpz Envs, but with distinct V4 features and an extended V1 loop. Moreover, SIVmac239 Env has a higher glycan shield density than HIV Env that may contribute to poor or delayed nAb responses in SIVmac239-infected macaques. Passive transfer of a nAb protects macaques from repeated intravenous SIVmac239 challenge at serum titers comparable to those described for protection of humans against HIV infection. Our results provide structural insights for vaccine design and shed light on antibody-mediated protection in the SIV model. SIVmac239 infection of macaques is a favored model of human HIV infection, but antibody-mediated protection for SIVmac239 is insufficiently understood. Here, Zhao and Berndsen et al isolated nAbs and confirmed protection against SIVmac239 infection in passive transfer studies in macaques. The nAb was used to provide the first high-resolution structure of a rhesus SIV trimer by CryoEM. Analysis of the glycosylation pattern of this SIV trimer suggests a denser glycan shield on Env for rhesus SIV compared to chimpanzee SIV or HIV-1, which partially explains the poor nAb response of rhesus macaques to SIVmac239 infection.

Enhancing and shaping the immunogenicity of native-like HIV-1 envelope trimers with a two-component protein nanoparticle


Brouwer PJM, Antanasijevic A, Berndsen Z, Yasmeen A, Fiala B, Bijl TPL, Bontjer I, Bale JB, Sheffler W, Allen JD, Schorcht A, Burger JA, Camacho M, Ellis D, Cottrell CA, Behrens AJ, Catalano M, Del Moral-Sánchez I, Ketas TJ, LaBranche C, van Gils MJ, Sliepen K, Stewart LJ, Crispin M, Montefiori DC, Baker D, Moore JP, Klasse PJ, Ward AB, King NP, Sanders RW.
Nature Communications Aug. 11, 2022

The development of native-like HIV-1 envelope (Env) trimer antigens has enabled the induction of neutralizing antibody (NAb) responses against neutralization-resistant HIV-1 strains in animal models. However, NAb responses are relatively weak and narrow in specificity. Displaying antigens in a multivalent fashion on nanoparticles (NPs) is an established strategy to increase their immunogenicity. Here we present the design and characterization of two-component protein NPs displaying 20 stabilized SOSIP trimers from various HIV-1 strains. The two-component nature permits the incorporation of exclusively well-folded, native-like Env trimers into NPs that self-assemble in vitro with high efficiency. Immunization studies show that the NPs are particularly efficacious as priming immunogens, improve the quality of the Ab response over a conventional one-component nanoparticle system, and are most effective when SOSIP trimers with an apex-proximate neutralizing epitope are displayed. Their ability to enhance and shape the immunogenicity of SOSIP trimers make these NPs a promising immunogen platform.

Allelic polymorphism controls autoreactivity and vaccine elicitation of human broadly neutralizing antibodies against influenza virus


Sangesland M, Torrents de la Peña A, Boyoglu-Barnum S, Ronsard L, Mohamed FAN, Moreno TB, Barnes RM, Rohrer D, Lonberg N, Ghebremichael M, Kanekiyo M, Ward A, Lingwood D.
Immunity Aug. 10, 2022

Human broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) targeting the hemagglutinin stalk of group 1 influenza A viruses (IAVs) are biased for IGHV1-69 alleles that use phenylalanine (F54) but not leucine (L54) within their CDRH2 loops. Despite this, we demonstrated that both alleles encode for human IAV bnAbs that employ structurally convergent modes of contact to the same epitope. To resolve differences in lineage expandability, we compared F54 versus L54 as substrate within humanized mice, where antibodies develop with human-like CDRH3 diversity but are restricted to single VH genes. While both alleles encoded for bnAb precursors, only F54 IGHV1-69 supported elicitation of heterosubtypic serum bnAbs following immunization with a stalk-only nanoparticle vaccine. L54 IGHV1-69 was unproductive, co-encoding for anergic B cells and autoreactive stalk antibodies that were cleared from B cell memory. Moreover, human stalk antibodies also demonstrated L54-dependent autoreactivity. Therefore, IGHV1-69 polymorphism, which is skewed ethnically, gates tolerance and vaccine expandability of influenza bnAbs.

Broadly Neutralizing Antibody PGT121 Allosterically Modulates CD4 Binding via Recognition of the HIV-1 gp120 V3 Base and Multiple Surrounding Glycans


Julien JP, Sok D, Khayat R, Lee JH, Doores KJ, Walker LM, Ramos A, Diwanji DC, Pejchal R, Cupo A, Katpally U, Depetris RS, Stanfield RL, McBride R, Marozsan AJ, Paulson JC, Sanders RW, Moore JP, Burton DR, Poignard P, Ward AB, Wilson IA
PLoS Pathogens Aug. 10, 2022

New broad and potent neutralizing HIV-1 antibodies have recently been described that are largely dependent on the gp120 N332 glycan for Env recognition. Members of the PGT121 family of antibodies, isolated from an African donor, neutralize ∼70% of circulating isolates with a median IC50 less than 0.05 µg ml−1. Here, we show that three family members, PGT121, PGT122 and PGT123, have very similar crystal structures. A long 24-residue HCDR3 divides the antibody binding site into two functional surfaces, consisting of an open face, formed by the heavy chain CDRs, and an elongated face, formed by LCDR1, LCDR3 and the tip of the HCDR3. Alanine scanning mutagenesis of the antibody paratope reveals a crucial role in neutralization for residues on the elongated face, whereas the open face, which accommodates a complex biantennary glycan in the PGT121 structure, appears to play a more secondary role. Negative-stain EM reconstructions of an engineered recombinant Env gp140 trimer (SOSIP.664) reveal that PGT122 interacts with the gp120 outer domain at a more vertical angle with respect to the top surface of the spike than the previously characterized antibody PGT128, which is also dependent on the N332 glycan. We then used ITC and FACS to demonstrate that the PGT121 antibodies inhibit CD4 binding to gp120 despite the epitope being distal from the CD4 binding site. Together, these structural, functional and biophysical results suggest that the PGT121 antibodies may interfere with Env receptor engagement by an allosteric mechanism in which key structural elements, such as the V3 base, the N332 oligomannose glycan and surrounding glycans, including a putative V1/V2 complex biantennary glycan, are conformationally constrained.

A public antibody class recognizes an S2 epitope exposed on open conformations of SARS-CoV-2 spike


Claireaux M, Caniels TG, de Gast M, Han J, Guerra D, Kerster G, van Schaik BDC, Jongejan A, Schriek AI, Grobben M, Brouwer PJM, van der Straten K, Aldon Y, Capella-Pujol J, Snitselaar JL, Olijhoek W, Aartse A, Brinkkemper M, Bontjer I, Burger JA, Poniman M, Bijl TPL, Torres JL, Copps J, Martin IC, de Taeye SW, de Bree GJ, Ward AB, Sliepen K, van Kampen AHC, Moerland PD, Sanders RW, van Gils MJ.
Nature Communications Aug. 4, 2022

Delineating the origins and properties of antibodies elicited by SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination is critical for understanding their benefits and potential shortcomings. Therefore, we investigate the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S)-reactive B cell repertoire in unexposed individuals by flow cytometry and single-cell sequencing. We show that ∼82% of SARS-CoV-2 S-reactive B cells harbor a naive phenotype, which represents an unusually high fraction of total human naive B cells (∼0.1%). Approximately 10% of these naive S-reactive B cells share an IGHV1-69/IGKV3-11 B cell receptor pairing, an enrichment of 18-fold compared to the complete naive repertoire. Following SARS-CoV-2 infection, we report an average 37-fold enrichment of IGHV1-69/IGKV3-11 B cell receptor pairing in the S-reactive memory B cells compared to the unselected memory repertoire. This class of B cells targets a previously undefined non-neutralizing epitope on the S2 subunit that becomes exposed on S proteins used in approved vaccines when they transition away from the native pre-fusion state because of instability. These findings can help guide the improvement of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. To fully understand the potential shortcomings of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, it is necessary to delineate the properties of the antibodies elicited, during immunization, and also infection. Through investigation of the SARS-CoV-2 spike-reactive B cell repertoire, authors identify following infection, a subset of B cells enriched and almost exclusively target a non-neutralizing S2 epitope present in aberrant forms.

Antibodies from primary humoral responses modulate the recruitment of naive B cells during secondary responses


Tas JMJ, Koo JH, Lin YC, Xie Z, Steichen JM, Jackson AM, Hauser BM, Wang X, Cottrell CA, Torres JL, Warner JE, Kirsch KH, Weldon SR, Groschel B, Nogal B, Ozorowski G, Bangaru S, Phelps N, Adachi Y, Eskandarzadeh S, Kubitz M, Burton DR, Lingwood D, Schmidt AG, Nair U, Ward AB, Schief WR, Batista FD
Immunity Aug. 4, 2022

Vaccines generate high-affinity antibodies by recruiting antigen-specific B cells to germinal centers (GCs), but the mechanisms governing the recruitment to GCs on secondary challenges remain unclear. Here, using preclinical SARS-CoV and HIV mouse models, we demonstrated that the antibodies elicited during primary humoral responses shaped the naive B cell recruitment to GCs during secondary exposures. The antibodies from primary responses could either enhance or, conversely, restrict the GC participation of naive B cells: broad-binding, low-affinity, and low-titer antibodies enhanced recruitment, whereas, by contrast, the high titers of high-affinity, mono-epitope-specific antibodies attenuated cognate naive B cell recruitment. Thus, the directionality and intensity of that effect was determined by antibody concentration, affinity, and epitope specificity. Circulating antibodies can, therefore, be important determinants of antigen immunogenicity. Future vaccines may need to overcome—or could, alternatively, leverage—the effects of circulating primary antibodies on subsequent naive B cell recruitment.

Structural motifs for subtype-specific pH-sensitive gating of vertebrate otopetrin proton channels


Teng B, Kaplan JP, Liang Z, Krieger Z, Tu YH, Burendei B, Ward AB, Liman ER.
eLife Aug. 3, 2022

Otopetrin (OTOP) channels are proton-selective ion channels conserved among vertebrates and invertebrates, with no structural similarity to other ion channels. There are three vertebrate OTOP channels (OTOP1, OTOP2, and OTOP3), of which one (OTOP1) functions as a sour taste receptor. Whether extracellular protons gate OTOP channels, in addition to permeating them, was not known. Here, we compare the functional properties of the three murine OTOP channels using patch-clamp recording and cytosolic pH microfluorimetry. We find that OTOP1 and OTOP3 are both steeply activated by extracellular protons, with thresholds of pHo <6.0 and 5.5, respectively, and kinetics that are pH-dependent. In contrast, OTOP2 channels are broadly active over a large pH range (pH 5 pH 10) and carry outward currents in response to extracellular alkalinization (>pH 9.0). Strikingly, we could change the pH-sensitive gating of OTOP2 and OTOP3 channels by swapping extracellular linkers that connect transmembrane domains. Swaps of extracellular linkers in the N domain, comprising transmembrane domains 1–6, tended to change the relative conductance at alkaline pH of chimeric channels, while swaps within the C domain, containing transmembrane domains 7–12, tended to change the rates of OTOP3 current activation. We conclude that members of the OTOP channel family are proton-gated (acid-sensitive) proton channels and that the gating apparatus is distributed across multiple extracellular regions within both the N and C domains of the channels. In addition to the taste system, OTOP channels are expressed in the vertebrate vestibular and digestive systems. The distinct gating properties we describe may allow them to subserve varying cell-type specific functions in these and other biological systems.

Immunization-Elicited Broadly Protective Antibody Reveals Ebolavirus Fusion Loop as a Site of Vulnerability


Zhao X, Howell KA, He S, Brannan JM, Wec AZ, Davidson E, Turner HL, Chiang CI, Lei L, Fels JM, Vu H, Shulenin S, Turonis AN, Kuehne AI, Liu G, Ta M, Wang Y, Sundling C, Xiao Y, Spence JS, Doranz BJ, Holtsberg FW, Ward AB, Chandran K, Dye JM, Qiu X, Li Y, Aman MJ
Cell Aug. 3, 2022

While neutralizing antibodies are highly effective against ebolavirus infections, current experimental ebolavirus vaccines primarily elicit species-specific antibody responses. Here, we describe an immunization-elicited macaque antibody (CA45) that clamps the internal fusion loop with the N terminus of the ebolavirus glycoproteins (GPs) and potently neutralizes Ebola, Sudan, Bundibugyo, and Reston viruses. CA45, alone or in combination with an antibody that blocks receptor binding, provided full protection against all pathogenic ebolaviruses in mice, guinea pigs, and ferrets. Analysis of memory B cells from the immunized macaque suggests that elicitation of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) for ebolaviruses is possible but difficult, potentially due to the rarity of bNAb clones and their precursors. Unexpectedly, germline-reverted CA45, while exhibiting negligible binding to full-length GP, bound a proteolytically remodeled GP with picomolar affinity, suggesting that engineered ebolavirus vaccines could trigger rare bNAb precursors more robustly. These findings have important implications for developing pan-ebolavirus vaccine and immunotherapeutic cocktails.

A clade C HIV-1 vaccine protects against heterologous SHIV infection by modulating IgG glycosylation and T helper response in macaques


Sahoo A, Jones AT, Cheedarla N, Gangadhara S, Roy V, Styles TM, Shiferaw A, Walter KL, Williams LD, Shen X, Ozorowski G, Lee WH, Burton S, Yi L, Song X, Qin ZS, Derdeyn CA, Ward AB, Clements JD, Varadarajan R, Tomaras GD, Kozlowski PA, Alter G, Amara RR.
Science Immunology July 22, 2022

The rising global HIV-1 burden urgently requires vaccines capable of providing heterologous protection. Here, we developed a clade C HIV-1 vaccine consisting of priming with modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) and boosting with cyclically permuted trimeric gp120 (CycP-gp120) protein, delivered either orally using a needle-free injector or through parenteral injection. We tested protective efficacy of the vaccine against intrarectal challenges with a pathogenic heterologous clade C SHIV infection in rhesus macaques. Both routes of vaccination induced a strong envelope-specific IgG in serum and rectal secretions directed against V1V2 scaffolds from a global panel of viruses with polyfunctional activities. Envelope-specific IgG showed lower fucosylation compared with total IgG at baseline, and most of the vaccine-induced proliferating blood CD4+ T cells did not express CCR5 and α4β7, markers associated with HIV target cells. After SHIV challenge, both routes of vaccination conferred significant and equivalent protection, with 40% of animals remaining uninfected at the end of six weekly repeated challenges with an estimated efficacy of 68% per exposure. Induction of envelope-specific IgG correlated positively with G1FB glycosylation, and G2S2F glycosylation correlated negatively with protection. Vaccine-induced TNF-α+ IFN-γ+ CD8+ T cells and TNF-α+ CD4+ T cells expressing low levels of CCR5 in the rectum at prechallenge were associated with decreased risk of SHIV acquisition. These results demonstrate that the clade C MVA/CycP-gp120 vaccine provides heterologous protection against a tier2 SHIV rectal challenge by inducing a polyfunctional antibody response with distinct Fc glycosylation profile, as well as cytotoxic CD8 T cell response and CCR5-negative T helper response in the rectum.

The Pre-Existing Human Antibody Repertoire to Computationally Optimized Influenza H1 Hemagglutinin Vaccines


Nagashima K, Dzimianski JV, Han J, Abbadi N, Gingerich AD, Royer F, O'Rourke S, Sautto GA, Ross TM, Ward AB, DuBois RM, Mousa JJ.
The Journal of Immunology June 13, 2022

Abstract Computationally optimized broadly reactive Ag (COBRA) hemagglutinin (HA) immunogens have previously been generated for several influenza subtypes to improve vaccine-elicited Ab breadth. As nearly all individuals have pre-existing immunity to influenza viruses, influenza-specific memory B cells will likely be recalled upon COBRA HA vaccination. We determined the epitope specificity and repertoire characteristics of pre-existing human B cells to H1 COBRA HA Ags. Cross-reactivity between wild-type HA and H1 COBRA HA proteins P1, X6, and Y2 were observed for isolated mAbs. The mAbs bound five distinct epitopes on the pandemic A/California/04/2009 HA head and stem domains, and most mAbs had hemagglutination inhibition and neutralizing activity against 2009 pandemic H1 strains. Two head-directed mAbs, CA09-26 and CA09-45, had hemagglutination inhibition and neutralizing activity against a prepandemic H1 strain. One mAb, P1-05, targeted the stem region of H1 HA, but did not compete with a known stem-targeting H1 mAb. We determined that mAb P1-05 recognizes a recently discovered HA epitope, the anchor epitope, and we identified similar mAbs using B cell repertoire sequencing. In addition, the trimerization domain distance from HA was critical to recognition of this epitope by mAb P1-05, suggesting the importance of protein design for vaccine formulations. Overall, these data indicate that seasonally vaccinated individuals possess a population of functional H1 COBRA HA–reactive B cells that target head, central stalk, and anchor epitopes, and they demonstrate the importance of structure-based assessment of subunit protein vaccine candidates to ensure accessibility of optimal protein epitopes.

Targeted isolation of diverse human protective broadly neutralizing antibodies against SARS-like viruses


He WT, Musharrafieh R, Song G, Dueker K, Tse LV, Martinez DR, Schäfer A, Callaghan S, Yong P, Beutler N, Torres JL, Volk RM, Zhou P, Yuan M, Liu H, Anzanello F, Capozzola T, Parren M, Garcia E, Rawlings SA, Smith DM, Wilson IA, Safonova Y, Ward AB, Rogers TF, Baric RS, Gralinski LE, Burton DR, Andrabi R.
Nature Immunology June 2, 2022

The emergence of current severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern (VOCs) and potential future spillovers of SARS-like coronaviruses into humans pose a major threat to human health and the global economy. Development of broadly effective coronavirus vaccines that can mitigate these threats is needed. Here, we utilized a targeted donor selection strategy to isolate a large panel of human broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) to sarbecoviruses. Many of these bnAbs are remarkably effective in neutralizing a diversity of sarbecoviruses and against most SARS-CoV-2 VOCs, including the Omicron variant. Neutralization breadth is achieved by bnAb binding to epitopes on a relatively conserved face of the receptor-binding domain (RBD). Consistent with targeting of conserved sites, select RBD bnAbs exhibited protective efficacy against diverse SARS-like coronaviruses in a prophylaxis challenge model in vivo. These bnAbs provide new opportunities and choices for next-generation antibody prophylactic and therapeutic applications and provide a molecular basis for effective design of pan-sarbecovirus vaccines. A broadly neutralizing antibody (bnAb) response is required to combat SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs). The authors isolated and characterized a large panel of sarbecovirus bnAbs from vaccinated individuals who had recovered from COVID-19, finding that many of these antibodies were able to neutralize all VOCs, including Omicron, and demonstrate prophylaxis in mice infected with diverse sarbecoviruses.

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Title & Authors Journal Publication Date

Structural conservation of Lassa virus glycoproteins and recognition by neutralizing antibodies


Perrett HR, M. Brouwer PJ, Hurtado J, Newby ML, Burger JA, Liu L, Bouhuijs JH, Gibson G, Messmer T, Schieffelin JS, Antanasijevic A, Boons GJ, Crispin M, Sanders RW, Briney B, Ward AB

Now Published: 10.1016/j.celrep.2023.112524
bioRxiv Sept. 26, 2022

Affinity-matured homotypic interactions induce spectrum of PfCSP-antibody structures that influence protection from malaria infection


Martin G, Torres JL, Pholcharee T, Oyen D, Flores-Garcia Y, Gibson G, Moskovitz R, Beutler N, Jung DD, Copps J, Lee WH, Gonzalez-Paez G, Emerling D, MacGill RS, Locke E, Richter King C, Zavala F, Wilson IA, Ward AB

Now Published: 10.1038/s41467-023-40151-x
bioRxiv Sept. 20, 2022

Improving the secretion of designed protein assemblies through negative design of cryptic transmembrane domains


Wang JYJ, Khmelinskaia A, Sheffler W, Miranda MC, Antanasijevic A, Borst AJ, Vazquez Torres S, Shu C, Hsia Y, Nattermann U, Ellis D, Walkey C, Ahlrichs M, Chan S, Kang A, Nguyen H, Sydeman C, Sankaran B, Wu M, Bera AK, Carter L, Fiala B, Murphy M, Baker D, Ward AB, King NP

Now Published: 10.1073/pnas.2214556120
bioRxiv Aug. 4, 2022

Single-component multilayered self-assembling protein nanoparticles presenting glycan-trimmed uncleaved prefusion optimized envelope trimers as HIV-1 vaccine candidates


Zhang YN, Paynter J, Antanasijevic A, Allen JD, Eldad M, Lee YZ, Copps J, Newby M, He L, Chavez D, Frost P, Goodroe A, Dutton J, Lanford R, Chen C, Wilson IA, Crispin M, Ward AB, Zhu J

Now Published: 10.1038/s41467-023-37742-z
bioRxiv July 1, 2022

LipIDens: Simulation assisted interpretation of lipid densities in cryo-EM structures of membrane proteins


Ansell TB, Song W, Coupland CE, Carrique L, Corey RA, Duncan AL, Cassidy CK, G. Geurts MM, Rasmussen T, Ward AB, Siebold C, Stansfeld PJ, P. Sansom MS

Now Published: 10.1038/s41467-023-43392-y
bioRxiv June 30, 2022