Antibody repertoire induced by SARS-CoV-2 spike protein immunogens

Supriya Ravichandran, Elizabeth M Coyle, Laura Klenow, Juanjie Tang, Gabrielle Grubbs, Shufeng Liu, Tony Wang, Hana Golding, Surender Khurana

Multiple vaccine candidates against SARS-CoV-2 based on viral spike protein are under development. However, there is limited information on the quality of antibody response generated following vaccination by these vaccine modalities. To better understand antibody response induced by spike protein-based vaccines, we immunized rabbits with various SARS-CoV-2 spike protein antigens: S-ectodomain (S1+S2) (aa 16-1213), which lacks the cytoplasmic and transmembrane domains (CT-TM), the S1 domain (aa 16-685), the receptor-binding domain (RBD) (aa 319-541), and the S2 domain (aa 686-1213 as control). Antibody response was analyzed by ELISA, Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) against different Spike proteins in native conformation, and a pseudovirion neutralization assay to measure the quality and function of the antibodies elicited by the different Spike antigens. All three antigens (S1+S2 ectodomain, S1 domain, and RBD) generated strong neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Vaccination induced antibody repertoire was analyzed by SARS-CoV-2 spike Genome Fragment Phage Display Libraries (SARS-CoV-2 GFPDL), which identified immunodominant epitopes in the S1, S1-RBD and S2 domains. Furthermore, these analyses demonstrated that surprisingly the RBD immunogen elicited a higher antibody titer with 5-fold higher affinity antibodies to native spike antigens compared with other spike antigens. These findings may help guide rational vaccine design and facilitate development and evaluation of effective therapeutics and vaccines against COVID-19 disease.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: