Engineered receptor binding domain immunogens elicit pan-coronavirus neutralizing antibodies.

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
B. M. HauserAaron G. Schmidt

Abstract

Effective countermeasures are needed against emerging coronaviruses of pandemic potential, similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Designing immunogens that elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies to conserved viral epitopes on the major surface glycoprotein, spike, such as the receptor binding domain (RBD) is one potential approach. Here, we report the generation of homotrimeric RBD immunogens from different sarbecoviruses using a stabilized, immune-silent trimerization tag. We find that that a cocktail of homotrimeric sarbecovirus RBDs can elicit a neutralizing response to all components even in context of prior SARS-CoV-2 imprinting. Importantly, the cross-neutralizing antibody responses are focused towards conserved RBD epitopes outside of the ACE-2 receptor-binding motif. This may be an effective strategy for eliciting broadly neutralizing responses leading to a pan-sarbecovirus vaccine.

Methods Mentioned

BETA
size exclusion chromatography
biolayer interferometry
ELISAs
ELISA
flow cytometry

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