Potent binding of 2019 novel coronavirus spike protein by a SARS coronavirus-specific human monoclonal antibody
Posted 28 Jan 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.01.28.923011 (published DOI: 10.1080/22221751.2020.1729069)
Posted 28 Jan 2020
The newly identified 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has caused more than 800 laboratory-confirmed human infections, including 25 deaths, posing a serious threat to human health. Currently, however, there is no specific antiviral treatment or vaccine. Considering the relatively high identity of receptor binding domain (RBD) in 2019-nCoV and SARS-CoV, it is urgent to assess the cross-reactivity of anti-SARS-CoV antibodies with 2019-nCoV spike protein, which could have important implications for rapid development of vaccines and therapeutic antibodies against 2019-nCoV. Here, we report for the first time that a SARS-CoV-specific human monoclonal antibody, CR3022, could bind potently with 2019-nCoV RBD (KD of 6.3 nM). The epitope of CR3022 does not overlap with the ACE2 binding site within 2019-nCoV RBD. Therefore, CR3022 has the potential to be developed as candidate therapeutics, alone or in combination with other neutralizing antibodies, for the prevention and treatment of 2019-nCoV infections. Interestingly, some of the most potent SARS-CoV-specific neutralizing antibodies (e.g., m396, CR3014) that target the ACE2 binding site of SARS-CoV failed to bind 2019-nCoV spike protein, indicating that the difference in the RBD of SARS-CoV and 2019-nCoV has a critical impact for the cross-reactivity of neutralizing antibodies, and that it is still necessary to develop novel monoclonal antibodies that could bind specifically to 2019-nCoV RBD.
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