A neutralizing epitope on the SD1 domain of SARS-CoV-2 spike targeted following infection and vaccination

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Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike is the target for neutralizing antibodies elicited following both infection and vaccination. While extensive research has shown that the receptor binding domain (RBD) and, to a lesser extent, the N-terminal domain (NTD) are the predominant targets for neutralizing antibodies, identification of neutralizing epitopes beyond these regions is important for informing vaccine development and understanding antibody-mediated immune escape. Here, we identify a class of broadly neutralizing antibodies that bind an epitope on the spike subdomain 1 (SD1) and that have arisen from infection or vaccination. Using cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and hydrogen-deuterium exchange coupled to mass spectrometry (HDX-MS), we show that SD1-specific antibody P008_60 binds an epitope that is not accessible within the canonical prefusion states of the SARS-CoV-2 spike, suggesting a transient conformation of the viral glycoprotein that is vulnerable to neutralization.

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Journal Cell Reports
Pages Epub ahead of rpint
Available online
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