Mosaic RBD nanoparticles elicit neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and zoonotic coronaviruses.
Cohen AA., Gnanapragasam PNP., Lee YE., Hoffman PR., Ou S., Kakutani LM., Keeffe JR., Wu H-J., Howarth M., West AP., Barnes CO., Nussenzweig MC., Bjorkman PJ.
Protection against SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-related zoonotic coronaviruses with pandemic potential is urgently needed. To evaluate immunization strategies, we made nanoparticles displaying the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of only SARS-CoV-2 (homotypic nanoparticles) or co-displaying the SARS-CoV-2 RBD along with RBDs from animal betacoronaviruses that represent threats to humans (mosaic nanoparticles; 4-8 distinct RBDs). Mice immunized with RBD-nanoparticles, but not soluble antigen, elicited cross-reactive antibody binding and neutralization responses, confirming increased immunogenicity from multimerization. Mosaic-RBD-nanoparticles elicited antibodies with superior cross-reactive recognition of heterologous RBDs compared to sera from immunizations with homotypic SARS-CoV-2-RBD-nanoparticles or antibodies from COVID-19 convalescent human plasmas. Moreover, sera from mosaic-RBD- immunized mice neutralized heterologous pseudotyped coronaviruses equivalently or better after priming than sera from homotypic SARS-CoV-2-RBD-nanoparticle immunizations, demonstrating no loss of immunogenicity against any particular RBD resulting from co-display. Thus, a single immunization with mosaic-RBD-nanoparticles provides a potential strategy to simultaneously protect against SARS-CoV-2 and emerging zoonotic coronaviruses.