Karolinska Institutet’s Researchers in Sweden have found a tiny neutralizing antibody (nanobody), that can prevent SARS-CoV-2 from invading human cells. Scientists say that this nanobody is likely to be formed as an antiviral medication on COVID-19. The outcomes are written in the journal Nature Communications.
Gerald McInerney, corresponding author and associate professor of virology at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology at Karolinska Institutet said, “We hope our findings can contribute to the amelioration of the COVID-19 pandemic by encouraging further examination of this nanobody as a therapeutic candidate against this viral infection.”
The active nanobodies which are parts of antibodies that transpire directly in camelids and can be used for humans. This began in February when an alpaca was infused with the new coronavirus protein, which is utilised to enter the human cells. In 60 days the blood samples revealed a robust immune response on the spike protein.
The researchers to conclude the best nanobodies revised for further evaluation enriched and examined nanobody sequences from the alpaca’s B cells, a type of white blood cell. They identified, Ty1 efficiently compensates the virus by appending to the spike protein that attaches to the receptor ACE2, which is utilised by SARS-CoV-2 to infect cells. This prevents the virus from moving into the cells and therefore inhibits virus.
Leo Hanke, a postdoc in the McInerney group and first author of the study said, “Using cryo-electron microscopy, we were able to see how the nanobody binds to the viral spike at an epitope which overlaps with the cellular receptor ACE2-binding site, providing a structural understanding for the potent neutralization activity.”
Nanobodies allow various benefits over standard antibodies as candidates for particular therapies. They traverse the size of less than one-tenth of normal antibodies and easier to produce low price at scale. They can be modified for humans with modern rules and have a demonstrated record of inhibiting viral respiratory infections.
Ben Murrell, assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology and co-senior author of the publication said, “Our results show that Ty1 can bind potently to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and neutralize the virus, with no detectable off-target activity.”
“We are now embarking on preclinical animal studies to investigate the neutralizing activity and therapeutic potential of Ty1 in vivo,” he added.
This is the first project of CoroNAb consortium and is organised by Karolinska Institutet, and supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, the additional fund was made by Swedish Research Council and KI Development Office.
The Ty1 sequence is in the scientific report and will soon be updated on the NCBI GenBank series database with the code MT784731.
Source: Karolinska Institutet