Coronavirus Nanoparticle Vaccine

Technique provides the immune system with several various coronaviruses at the same time.

The SARS-CoV-2 infection that is causing the COVID-19 pandemic is simply one of many different viruses in the coronavirus family. Researchers in the laboratory of Pamela Björkman, the David Baltimore Professor of Biology and Bioengineering, are working on establishing vaccines for a broad variety of related coronaviruses, with the objective of preventing future pandemics.

Now, led by college student Alex Cohen, a Caltech team has developed a protein-based 60- subunit nanoparticle onto which pieces of as much as 8 various kinds of coronavirus have actually been attached. When injected into mice, this vaccine causes the production of antibodies that react to a range of different coronaviruses– including similar viruses that were not presented on the nanoparticle.

The research study is described in a paper in the journal Science

Vaccine Induces Cross-Reactive Antibody Response to Multiple Coronaviruses

This brand-new vaccine model works by attaching many protein pieces (specifically, receptor-binding domains or RBDs) to an engineered protein-based nanoparticle. The research study, in mice, showed that the vaccine caused the production of antibodies that are broadly reactive to a wide range of coronaviruses.
Cohen and his team took fragments of the spike proteins of different coronaviruses (spike proteins play the biggest role in infection) and engineered each to have a protein tag that would bind to those on the cage– the other half of the piece of Velcro. When these viral pieces were blended together with the nanoparticle cage structure, each virus tag stuck to a tag on the cage, resulting in a nanoparticle providing spikes representing various coronavirus pressures on its surface area.
Notably, the antibodies were reactive to related pressures of coronavirus that were not present on the nanoparticle. This suggests that, by providing the immune system with several different coronavirus versions, the immune system learns to acknowledge typical functions of coronaviruses and thus could potentially react to a recently emerging coronavirus– not just a SARS-CoV-2 variant– that might cause another pandemic.

Although the team is still studying the mechanism underlying this phenomenon, the results are appealing. The next action is to examine whether immunization avoids viral infection and/or infection symptoms in animals making these antibodies.

” If we can reveal that the immune action caused by our nanoparticle innovation indeed protects versus health problem arising from infection, then we hope that we might move this innovation forward into human medical trials, though there are a lot of actions that need to take place in between from time to time,” says Cohen. “We do not envision that this approach would replace any existing vaccines, but it’s excellent to have lots of tools on hand when dealing with future emerging viral dangers.”

” Unfortunately SARS-CoV-2 is unlikely to be the last coronavirus to cause a pandemic,” says Björkman. “Alex’s outcomes reveal that it is possible to raise varied neutralizing antibody reactions, even against coronavirus stress that were not represented on the injected nanoparticle. So we are confident that this innovation might be used to secure against future animal coronaviruses that cross into humans. In addition, the nanoparticles generate reducing the effects of actions versus SARS-CoV-2, so it could be possible to use them now to secure versus COVID-19 in addition to other coronaviruses with pandemic capacity.”

The paper is titled “Mosaic nanoparticles elicit cross-reactive immune actions to zoonotic coronaviruses in mice.” Additional Caltech co-authors are research study service technicians Priyanthi Gnanapragasam, Yu Lee, Pauline Hoffman, and Leesa Kakutani; Susan Ou; research study researcher Jennifer Keeffe (PhD ’09); senior research study professional Anthony West (PhD ’98); and senior postdoctoral scholar Christopher Barnes. Other co-authors include Hung-Jen Wu and Mark Howarth at the University of Oxford, and Michel Nussenzweig of The Rockefeller University. Funding was supplied by the Caltech Merkin Institute for Translational Research, the National Institutes of Health, a George Mason University Fast Grant, and the Medical Research Council of the European & Establishing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership program.

Recommendation: “Mosaic nanoparticles generate cross-reactive immune reactions to zoonotic coronaviruses in mice” by Cohen, Alexander A. and Gnanapragasam, Priyanthi N. P. and Lee, Yu E. and Hoffman, Pauline R. and Ou, Susan and Kakutani, Leesa M. and Keeffe, Jennifer R. and Wu, Hung-Jen and Howarth, Mark and West, Anthony P. and Barnes, Christopher O. and Nussenzweig, Michel C. and Bjorkman, Pamela J., Science
DOI: 10.1126/ science.abf6840
CaltechAUTHORS: 20201118-120755714


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