New method identifies antibody-like proteins with diagnostic and therapeutic potential for SARS-CoV-2

September 18, 2020

Scientists have used a new high-speed, in vitro selection method to isolate 9 antibody-like proteins (ALPs) that bind to the SARS-CoV-2 virus - 4 of which also exhibited neutralizing activity - within 4 days, according to a new study. While much research has focused on the identification of whole antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 - the causative agent of COVID-19 - less attention has been paid to ALPs, which include monobodies that can offer similar diagnostic and therapeutic advantages. However, established in vitro methods to select small proteins like ALPs have some drawbacks. Phage display, the most common method, generates relatively small libraries of candidates, limiting the utility of this approach in the context of recently described viruses such as SARS-CoV-2. Another method, mRNA display, generates sufficiently large libraries but is time consuming, taking up to several weeks to yield results. Seeking a solution, Taishi Kondo and colleagues refined a method they previously developed, called TRAP display, which streamlines two of the most time-consuming early steps in the mRNA display protocol. Kondo et al. used their TRAP display method to obtain - within 4 days - 9 ALPs that bind to the S1 subunit of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein complex. Of these 9 ALPs, 4 showed affinity for the domain of the spike protein that binds the ACE2 receptor, suggesting that these ALPs may neutralize the virus' ability to bind to ACE2 on human cells. Of these 4 ALPs with binding affinity, one blocked SARS-CoV-2's ability to infect cultured cells in vitro. The authors then used the high-affinity ALP to capture SARS-CoV-2 viral particles from nasal swab samples, demonstrating the ALP's potential for use in diagnostic tests. "We believe that the monobodies procured in our study will soon be useful to develop effective diagnostic tools and that such tools will contribute to the worldwide effort to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic," the authors write.

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Proteins Articles from Brightsurf:

New understanding of how proteins operate
A ground-breaking discovery by Centenary Institute scientists has provided new understanding as to the nature of proteins and how they exist and operate in the human body.

Finding a handle to bag the right proteins
A method that lights up tags attached to selected proteins can help to purify the proteins from a mixed protein pool.

Designing vaccines from artificial proteins
EPFL scientists have developed a new computational approach to create artificial proteins, which showed promising results in vivo as functional vaccines.

New method to monitor Alzheimer's proteins
IBS-CINAP research team has reported a new method to identify the aggregation state of amyloid beta (Aβ) proteins in solution.

Composing new proteins with artificial intelligence
Scientists have long studied how to improve proteins or design new ones.

Hero proteins are here to save other proteins
Researchers at the University of Tokyo have discovered a new group of proteins, remarkable for their unusual shape and abilities to protect against protein clumps associated with neurodegenerative diseases in lab experiments.

Designer proteins
David Baker, Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Washington to speak at the AAAS 2020 session, 'Synthetic Biology: Digital Design of Living Systems.' Prof.

Gone fishin' -- for proteins
Casting lines into human cells to snag proteins, a team of Montreal researchers has solved a 20-year-old mystery of cell biology.

Coupled proteins
Researchers from Heidelberg University and Sendai University in Japan used new biotechnological methods to study how human cells react to and further process external signals.

Understanding the power of honey through its proteins
Honey is a culinary staple that can be found in kitchens around the world.

Read More: Proteins News and Proteins Current Events 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