Inhibition of the interaction between the SARS-CoV spike protein and its cellular receptor by anti-histo-blood group antibodies

Patrice GuillonJacques Le Pendu


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) is a highly pathogenic emergent virus which replicates in cells that can express ABH histo-blood group antigens. The heavily glycosylated SARS-CoV spike (S) protein binds to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 which serves as a cellular receptor. Epidemiological analysis of a hospital outbreak in Hong Kong revealed that blood group O was associated with a low risk of infection. In this study, we used a cellular model of adhesion to investigate whether natural antibodies of the ABO system could block the S protein and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 interaction. To this aim, a C-terminally EGFP-tagged S protein was expressed in chinese hamster ovary cells cotransfected with an alpha1,2-fucosyltransferase and an A-transferase in order to coexpress the S glycoprotein ectodomain and the A antigen at the cell surface. We observed that the S protein/angiotensin-converting enzyme 2-dependent adhesion of these cells to an angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 expressing cell line was specifically inhibited by either a monoclonal or human natural anti-A antibodies, indicating that these antibodies may block the interaction between the virus and its receptor, thereby providing protection. In...Continue Reading


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Methods Mentioned

flow cytometry
confocal microscopy

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