A severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-like coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has recently caused a pandemic COVID-19 disease that infected more than 25.6 million and killed 852,000 people worldwide. Like the SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 also employs a receptor-binding motif (RBM) of its envelope spike protein for binding the host angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) to gain viral entry. Currently, extensive efforts are being made to produce vaccines against a surface fragment of a SARS-CoV-2, such as the spike protein, in order to boost protective antibody responses. It was previously unknown how spike protein-targeting antibodies would affect innate inflammatory responses to SARS-CoV-2 infections. Here we generated a highly purified recombinant protein corresponding to the RBM of SARS-CoV-2, and used it to screen for cross-reactive monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). We found two RBM-binding mAbs that competitively inhibited its interaction with human ACE2, and specifically blocked the RBM-induced GM-CSF secretion in both human monocyte and murine macrophage cultures. Our findings have suggested a possible strategy to prevent SARS-CoV-2-elicited "cytokine storm", and provided a potentially useful criteria for future assessment of innate immune-modulating properties of various SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. One Sentence Summary: RBM-binding Antibodies Inhibit GM-CSF Induction.
Faculty; Northwell Researcher
School of Medicine; Northwell Health
Molecular Medicine; Neurosurgery; Surgery; COVID-19 Publications