Neutralizing Monoclonal Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies Isolated from Immunized Rabbits Define Novel Vulnerable Spike-Protein Epitope

Efi Makdasi et al., Viruses (2021) - PMID: 33810465

Product(s) used in this publication:  BioTides™ Biotinylated Peptides



Monoclonal antibodies represent an important avenue for COVID-19 therapy and are routinely used for rapid and accessible diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The recent emergence of SARS-CoV-2 genetic variants emphasized the need to enlarge the repertoire of antibodies that target diverse epitopes, the combination of which may improve immune-diagnostics, augment the efficiency of the immunotherapy and prevent selection of escape-mutants. Antigen-specific controlled immunization of experimental animals may elicit antibody repertoires that significantly differ from those generated in the context of the immune response mounted in the course of disease. Accordingly, rabbits were immunized by several recombinant antigens representing distinct domains of the viral spike protein and monoclonal antibodies were isolated from single cells obtained by cell sorting. Characterization of a panel of successfully isolated anti-receptor binding domain (RBD) and anti-N-terminal domain (NTD) antibodies demonstrated that they exhibit high specificity and affinity profiles. Anti-RBD antibodies revealing significant neutralizing potency against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro were found to target at least three distinct epitopes. Epitope mapping established that two of these antibodies recognized a novel epitope located on the surface of the RBD. We suggest that the antibodies isolated in this study are useful for designing SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis and therapy approaches.

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