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The immunodominant and neutralization linear epitopes for SARS-CoV-2

By Shuai Lu, Xi-xiu Xie, Lei Zhao, Bin Wang, Jie Zhu, Ting-rui Yang, Guang-wen Yang, Mei Ji, Cui-ping Lv, Jian Xue, Er-hei Dai, Xi-ming Fu, Dong-qun Liu, Lun Zhang, Sheng-jie Hou, Xiao-lin Yu, Yu-ling Wang, Hui-xia Gao, Xue-han Shi, Chang-wen Ke, Bi-xia Ke, Chun-guo Jiang, Rui-tian Liu

Posted 27 Aug 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.08.27.267716

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) becomes a tremendous threat to global health. Although vaccines against the virus are under development, the antigen epitopes on the virus and their immunogenicity are poorly understood. Here, we simulated the three-dimensional structures of SARS-CoV-2 proteins with high performance computer, predicted the B cell epitopes on spike (S), envelope (E), membrane (M), and nucleocapsid (N) proteins of SARS-CoV-2 using structure-based approaches, and then validated the epitope immunogenicity by immunizing mice. Almost all 33 predicted epitopes effectively induced antibody production, six of which were immunodominant epitopes in patients identified via the binding of epitopes with the sera from domestic and imported COVID-19 patients, and 23 were conserved within SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV and bat coronavirus RaTG13. We also found that the immunodominant epitopes of domestic SARS-CoV-2 were different from that of the imported, which may be caused by the mutations on S (G614D) and N proteins. Importantly, we validated that eight epitopes on S protein elicited neutralizing antibodies that blocked the cell entry of both D614 and G614 pseudo-virus of SARS-CoV-2, three and nine epitopes induced D614 or G614 neutralizing antibodies, respectively. Our present study shed light on the immunodominance, neutralization, and conserved epitopes on SARS-CoV-2 which are potently used for the diagnosis, virus classification and the vaccine design tackling inefficiency, virus mutation and different species of coronaviruses. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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