Neutralizing antibodies targeting the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain isolated from a naïve human antibody library.

Protein Science : a Publication of the Protein Society
Benjamin N BellPeter S Kim


Infection with SARS-CoV-2 elicits robust antibody responses in some patients, with a majority of the response directed at the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike surface glycoprotein. Remarkably, many patient-derived antibodies that potently inhibit viral infection harbor few to no mutations from the germline, suggesting that naïve antibody libraries are a viable means for discovery of novel SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies. Here, we used a yeast surface-display library of human naïve antibodies to isolate and characterize three novel neutralizing antibodies that target the RBD: one that blocks interaction with angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the human receptor for SARS-CoV-2, and two that target other epitopes on the RBD. These three antibodies neutralized SARS-CoV-2 spike-pseudotyped lentivirus with IC50 values as low as 60 ng/ml in vitro. Using a biolayer interferometry-based binding competition assay, we determined that these antibodies have distinct but overlapping epitopes with antibodies elicited during natural COVID-19 infection. Taken together, these analyses highlight how in vitro selection of naïve antibodies can mimic the humoral response in vivo, yielding neutralizing antibodies and various epitope...Continue Reading


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