Retrained generic antibodies can recognize SARS-CoV-2

February 03, 2021

The SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus behind the current pandemic, infects humans by binding its surface-exposed spike proteins to ACE2 receptors exposed on the cell membranes.

Upon a vaccination or a real infection, it takes several weeks before the immunity develops antibodies that can selectively bind to these spike proteins. Such antibody-labeled viruses are neutralized by the natural killer and T cells operated by the human immunity.

An alternative approach to train the immunity response is offered by researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago and California State University at Sacramento who have developed a novel strategy that redirects antibodies for other diseases existing in humans to the spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2.

In their study published by the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, the team proposes using peptide-based double-faced "booster" inhibitors, with one face binding to the spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and the other face binding to generic hepatitis B antibodies.

"Once the SARS-CoV-2 viruses become labeled by the hepatitis B antibodies via intermediate boosters, the viruses will be neutralized. This universal approach allows a dramatic shortening of the response time upon real infections, which can be critical in certain patients or conditions," said Petr Král, UIC professor of chemistry, physics, pharmaceutical sciences and chemical engineering, and senior author on the paper.

Král and Yanxiao Han, who recently earned a Ph.D. in chemistry at UIC and is first author on the paper, believe the study could provide guidance in the preparation of generic therapeutics against emerging pathogens with the combined advantages of small-protein and antibody therapies.

"The dramatic impact which novel viruses can have on humans could be fast mitigated in the absence of their vaccination if generic antibodies present within them are temporarily retrained to recognize these viruses," the researchers wrote.

In a study published last spring, Král and Han extracted different peptides from ACE2 that interact directly with the viral spike protein.

"We investigated potential COVID-19 therapeutics using computer simulations based on the X-ray crystal structure of the receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 when it is bound to ACE2," Král said. "Similar to our latest study, identifying these kinds of inhibitors could lead to new treatments to combat the coronavirus."
-end-
Co-author on the paper is Katherine McReynolds of California State University at Sacramento.

This work is supported by funding from the UIC Center for Clinical and Translational Science.

University of Illinois at Chicago

Related Antibodies Articles from Brightsurf:

Scientist develops new way to test for COVID-19 antibodies
New research details how a cell-free test rapidly detects COVID-19 neutralizing antibodies and could aid in vaccine testing and drug discovery efforts.

Mussels connect antibodies to treat cancer
POSTECH research team develops innovative local anticancer immunotherapy technology using mussel protein.

For an effective COVID vaccine, look beyond antibodies to T-cells
Most vaccine developers are aiming solely for a robust antibody response against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, despite evidence that antibodies are not the body's primary protective response to infection by coronaviruses, says Marc Hellerstein of UC Berkeley.

Children can have COVID-19 antibodies and virus in their system simultaneously
With many questions remaining around how children spread COVID-19, Children's National Hospital researchers set out to improve the understanding of how long it takes pediatric patients with the virus to clear it from their systems, and at what point they start to make antibodies that work against the coronavirus.

The behavior of therapeutic antibodies in immunotherapy
Since the late 1990s, immunotherapy has been the frontline treatment against lymphomas where synthetic antibodies are used to stop the proliferation of cancerous white blood cells.

Re-engineering antibodies for COVID-19
Catholic University of America researcher uses 'in silico' analysis to fast-track passive immunity

Seroprevalence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in 10 US sites
This study estimates how common SARS-CoV-2 antibodies are in convenience samples from 10 geographic sites in the United States.

Neutralizing antibodies in the battle against COVID-19
An important line of defense against SARS-CoV-2 is the formation of neutralizing antibodies.

Three new studies identify neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2
A trio of papers describes several newly discovered human antibodies that target the SARS-CoV-2 virus, isolated from survivors of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV infection.

More effective human antibodies possible with chicken cells
Antibodies for potential use as medicines can be made rapidly in chicken cells grown in laboratories.

Read More: Antibodies News and Antibodies Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.