TitleNanobody derived using a peptide epitope from the Spike protein receptor-binding motif inhibits entry of SARS-CoV-2 variants.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsMendon N, Ganie R, Kesarwani S, Dileep D, Sasi S, Lama P, Chandra A, Sirajuddin M
JournalJ Biol Chem
Date Published2022 Nov 21

The emergence of new escape mutants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has escalated its penetration among the human population and has reinstated its status as a global pandemic. Therefore, developing effective antiviral therapy against emerging SARS-CoV variants and other viruses in a short period of time becomes essential. Blocking SARS-CoV-2 entry into human host cells by disrupting the Spike glycoprotein-angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) interaction has already been exploited for vaccine development and monoclonal antibody therapy. Unlike the previous reports, our study used a nine-amino acid peptide from the receptor-binding motif (RBM) of the Spike (S) protein as an epitope. We report the identification of an efficacious nanobody N1.2 that blocks the entry of pseudovirus-containing SARS-CoV-2 Spike as the surface glycoprotein. Moreover, using mCherry fluorescence based reporter assay we observe a more potent neutralizing effect against both the hCoV19 (Wuhan/WIV04/2019) and the Omicron (BA.1) pseudotyped Spike virus with a bivalent version of the N1.2 nanobody. In summary, our study presents a rapid, and efficient methodology to use peptide sequences from a protein-receptor interaction interface as epitopes for screening nanobodies against potential pathogenic targets. We propose that this approach can also be widely extended to target other viruses and pathogens in the future.

Alternate JournalJ Biol Chem
PubMed ID36423687