Assessment of immunoreactive synthetic peptides from the structural proteins of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:The widespread threat of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) to human life has spawned challenges to develop fast and accurate analytical methods for its early diagnosis and to create a safe antiviral vaccine for preventive use. Consequently, we thoroughly investigated the immunoreactivities with patient sera of a series of synthesized peptides from SARS-coronavirus structural proteins. METHODS:We synthesized 41 peptides ranging in size from 16 to 25 amino acid residues of relatively high hydrophilicity. The immunoreactivities of the peptides with SARS patient sera were determined by ELISA. RESULTS:Four epitopic sites, S599, M137, N66, and N371-404, located in the SARS-coronavirus S, M, and N proteins, respectively, were detected by screening synthesized peptides. Notably, N371 and N385, located at the COOH terminus of the N protein, inhibited binding of antibodies to SARS-coronavirus lysate and bound to antibodies in >94% of samples from SARS study patients. N385 had the highest affinity for forming peptide-antibody complexes with SARS serum. CONCLUSIONS:Five peptides from SARS structural proteins, especially two from the COOH terminus of the N protein, appear to be highly immunogenic and may be useful for serologic assays. The identification of these antigenic peptides contributes to the understanding of the immunogenicity and persistence of SARS coronavirus.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The widespread threat of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) to human health has made urgent the development of fast and accurate analytical methods for its early diagnosis and a safe and efficient antiviral vaccine for preventive use. For this purpose, we investigated the antigenicity of different regions of the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) nucleocapsid (N) protein. METHODS:The cDNA for full-length N protein and its various regions from the SARS-CoV was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. After purification, all of the protein fragments were printed on glass slides to fabricate a protein microarray and then probed with the sera from SARS patients to determine the reactivity of these protein fragments. RESULTS:The full-length protein and two other fragments reacted with all 52 sera tested. Four important regions with possible epitopes were identified and named as EP1 (amino acids 51-71), EP2 (134-208), EP3 (249-273), and EP4 (349-422), respectively. EP2 and EP4 possessed linear epitopes, whereas EP1 and EP2 were able to form conformational epitopes that could react with most (>80%) of the tested sera. EP3 and EP4 also formed conformational epitopes, and antibodies against these epitopes existed in all 52 of the sera tested. CONCLUSION:The N protein is a highly immunogenic protein of the SARS-CoV. Conformational epitopes are important for this protein, and antigenicity of the COOH terminus is higher than that of the NH(2) terminus. The N protein is a potential diagnostic antigen and vaccine candidate for SARS-CoV.
Project description:A new coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus [SARS-CoV]) has been identified to be the etiological agent of severe acute respiratory syndrome. Given the highly contagious and acute nature of the disease, there is an urgent need for the development of diagnostic assays that can detect SARS-CoV infection. For determination of which of the viral proteins encoded by the SARS-CoV genome may be exploited as diagnostic antigens for serological assays, the viral proteins were expressed individually in mammalian and/or bacterial cells and tested for reactivity with sera from SARS-CoV-infected patients by Western blot analysis. A total of 81 sera, including 67 from convalescent patients and seven pairs from two time points of infection, were analyzed, and all showed immunoreactivity towards the nucleocapsid protein (N). Sera from some of the patients also showed immunoreactivity to U274 (59 of 81 [73%]), a protein that is unique to SARS-CoV. In addition, all of the convalescent-phase sera showed immunoreactivity to the spike (S) protein when analyzed by an immunofluorescence method utilizing mammalian cells stably expressing S. However, samples from the acute phase (2 to 9 days after the onset of illness) did not react with S, suggesting that antibodies to N may appear earlier than antibodies to S. Alternatively, this could be due to the difference in the sensitivities of the two methods. The immunoreactivities to these recombinant viral proteins are highly specific, as sera from 100 healthy donors did not react with any of them. These results suggest that recombinant N, S, and U274 proteins may be used as antigens for the development of serological assays for SARS-CoV.
Project description:Proteomics was used to identify a protein encoded by ORF 3a in a SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Immuno-blotting revealed that interchain disulfide bonds might be formed between this protein and the spike protein. ELISA indicated that sera from SARS patients have significant positive reactions with synthesized peptides derived from the 3a protein. These results are concordant with that of a spike protein-derived peptide. A tendency exists for co-mutation between the 3a protein and the spike protein of SARS-CoV isolates, suggesting that the function of the 3a protein correlates with the spike protein. Taken together, the 3a protein might be tightly correlated to the spike protein in the SARS-CoV functions. The 3a protein may serve as a new clinical marker or drug target for SARS treatment.
Project description:To identify a major antigenic determinant for use in the development of a rapid serological diagnostic test for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus infection and to study the immune response during SARS coronavirus infection in humans, we cloned the full length and six truncated fragments of the nucleocapsid gene, expressed them, and purified them as glutathione S-transferase-tagged recombinant proteins. The reactivities of the recombinant proteins to a panel of antibodies containing 33 SARS coronavirus-positive sera and 66 negative sera and to antibodies against other animal coronaviruses were screened. A truncated 195-amino-acid fragment from the C terminus of the nucleocapsid protein (N195) was identified that had a strong ability to detect antibodies against SARS coronavirus. No cross-reaction was found between the N195 protein and antibodies against chicken, pig, and canine coronaviruses. The N195 protein was used to develop a Western blot assay to detect antibodies against SARS coronavirus in 274 clinically blinded samples. The specificity and sensitivity of this test were 98.3 and 90.9%, respectively. The correlation between our Western blotting assay and an immunofluorescence assay (IFA) was also analyzed. The results of our Western blot assay and IFA for the detection of SARS coronavirus-positive sera were the same. Thus, the N195 protein was identified as a suitable protein to be used as an antigen in Western blot and other possible assays for the detection of SARS coronavirus infection.
Project description:We synthesized on cellulose membranes 4942 ten-amino-acid peptides which included all of the sequences predicted for the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) corona virus. We probed these membranes with four pairs of acute and convalescent sera from recovered SARS cases. We correlated positively reacting peptides with the in vitro SARS-CoV neutralizing activity of the samples. We found that convalescent sera with high neutralizing activity recognized exclusively only a limited number of peptides on the membranes. This suggests that antibodies against the epitopes represented by these peptides could be responsible for much of the SARS-CoV neutralizing activity. The findings have implications for monitoring humoral responses to SARS-CoV as well as for developing a successful SARS vaccine.
Project description:Molecular mimicry, defined as similar structures shared by molecules from dissimilar genes or proteins, is a general strategy used by pathogens to infect host cells. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a new human respiratory infectious disease caused by SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV plays an important role in the virus entry into a cell. In this study, eleven synthetic peptides from the S protein were selected based on its sequence homology with human proteins. Two of the peptides D07 (residues 927-937) and D08 (residues 942-951) were recognized by the sera of SARS patients. Murine hyperimmune sera against these peptides bound to proteins of human lung epithelial cells A549. Another peptide D10 (residues 490-502) stimulated A549 to proliferate and secrete IL-8. The present results suggest that the selected S protein regions, which share sequence homology with human proteins, may play important roles in SARS-CoV infection.
Project description:Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes severe health crisis and huge socioeconomic upheaval internationally. This study proposes an ab initio design strategy to obtain antiviral peptides to against SARS-CoV-2 infection. The study employed database filtering technology to generate 7 amphipathic-symmetric peptides named DFTavPs with low cytotoxicity and random coil structure. Three DFTavPs promoted SARS-CoV-2 pseudoviruses infection and three DFTavPs inhibited virus infection, which are accompanied by up-regulation or down-regulation of SARS-CoV receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 mRNA levels. Particularly, microRNA profiling showed that some differentially expressed microRNAs had potential to target key factors for cell entry of SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, we explored the relationship of parameters and antiviral efficacy index (AEI). The results suggested that higher AEI of coronavirus was most likely to occur at mean amphipathic moment between 0.3 and 0.4. Automated machine learning was used to construct parameters-AEI regression models for various viruses. The Extra-Trees and CatBoost had a good predicting performance for AEI of coronavirus (R2=0.794 and Rpearson=0.897) and human immunodeficiency virus (R2=0.735 and Rpearson=0.859), respectively. Overall, this strategy is expected to efficiently obtain huge amounts of potential peptide drugs with anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity, and machine learning models could contribute to discovery of high antivirus-activity peptides. Overall design: Examination of 2 antiviral peptides influence in 293T cells.
Project description:Antigenic sites on the nucleocapsid (N) protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus (SARS-CoV) were mapped by Pepscan analysis with overlapping peptides that span the N protein sequence. Two major immunodominant epitopes located in the C-terminal region (amino acids [aa] 362 to 412) and middle region (aa 153 to 178) reacted with more than 75% of sera from SARS patients. Several minor immunodominant epitopes were reactive with about 50% of the SARS sera. Antisera from mice immunized with inactivated SARS-CoV recognized the two major immunodominant epitopes and one antigenic site located adjacent to the N-terminal region (aa 76 to 101), which did not react with the sera from SARS patients. Several monoclonal antibodies against SARS-CoV bound to the N- or C-terminal antigenic sites. These results suggest that the above antigenic sites on the N protein are important in eliciting humoral immune response against SARS-CoV in humans and animals and can be used as antigens for developing diagnostic tests.
Project description:A novel coronavirus, the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus (SARS-CoV), was identified as the causative agent of SARS. The profile of specific antibodies to individual proteins of the virus is critical to the development of vaccine and diagnostic tools. In this study, 13 recombinant proteins associated with four structural proteins (S, E, M and N) and five putative uncharacterized proteins (3a, 3b, 6, 7a and 9b) of the SARS-CoV were prepared and used for screening and monitoring their specific IgG antibodies in SARS patient sera by protein microarray. Antibodies to proteins S, 3a, N and 9b were detected in the sera from convalescent-phase SARS patients, whereas those to proteins E, M, 3b, 6 and 7a were undetected. In the detectable specific antibodies, anti-S and anti-N were dominant and could persist in the sera of SARS patients until week 30. Among the rabbit antisera to recombinant proteins S3, N, 3a and 9b, only anti-S3 serum showed significant neutralizing activity to the SARS-CoV infection in Vero E6 cells. The results suggest (1) that anti-S and anti-N antibodies are diagnostic markers and in particular that S3 is immunogenic and therefore is a good candidate as a subunit vaccine antigen; and (2) that, from a virus structure viewpoint, the presence in some human sera of antibodies reacting with two recombinant polypeptides, 3a and 9b, supports the hypothesis that they are synthesized during the virus cycle.
Project description:The Bridging Sheet domain of HIV-1 gp120 is highly conserved among the HIV-1 strains and allows HIV-1 binding to host cells via the HIV-1 coreceptors. Further, the bridging sheet domain is a major target to neutralize HIV-1 infection. We rationally designed four linear peptide epitopes that mimic the three-dimensional structure of bridging sheet by using molecular modeling. Chemically synthesized peptides BS3 and BS4 showed a fair degree of antigenicity when tested in ELISA with IgG purified from HIV(+) broadly neutralizing sera while the production of synthetic peptides BS1 and BS2 failed due to their high degree of hydrophobicity. To overcome this limitation, we linked all four BS peptides to the COOH-terminus of GST protein to test both their antigenicity and immunogenicity. Only the BS1 peptide showed good antigenicity; however, no envelope specific antibodies were elicited upon mice immunization. Therefore we performed further analyses by linking BS1 peptide to the NH2-terminus of the E2 scaffold from the Geobacillus Stearothermophylus PDH complex. The E2-BS1 fusion peptide showed good antigenic results, however only one immunized rabbit elicited good antibody titers towards both the monomeric and oligomeric viral envelope glycoprotein (Env). In addition, moderate neutralizing antibodies response was elicited against two HIV-1 clade B and one clade C primary isolates. These preliminary data validate the peptide mimotope approach as a promising tool to obtain an effective HIV-1 vaccine.