During the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has led to the infection of millions of people and has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. The entry of the virus into cells depends on the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2. Although there is currently no vaccine, it is likely that antibodies will be essential for protection. However, little is known about the human antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 1-5. Here we report on 149 COVID-19-convalescent individuals. Plasma samples collected an average of 39 days after the onset of symptoms had variable half-maximal pseudovirus neutralizing titres; titres were less than 50 in 33% of samples, below 1,000 in 79% of samples and only 1% of samples had titres above 5,000. Antibody sequencing revealed the expansion of clones of RBD-specific memory B cells that expressed closely related antibodies in different individuals. Despite low plasma titres, antibodies to three distinct epitopes on the RBD neutralized the virus with half-maximal inhibitory concentrations (IC 50 values) as low as 2 ng ml −1. In conclusion, most convalescent plasma samples obtained from individuals who recover from COVID-19 do not contain high levels of neutralizing activity. Nevertheless, rare but recurring RBD-specific antibodies with potent antiviral activity were found in all individuals tested, suggesting that a vaccine designed to elicit such antibodies could be broadly effective.
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The sequence of the mouse genome is a key informational tool for understanding the contents of the human genome and a key experimental tool for biomedical research. Here, we report the results of an international collaboration to produce a high-quality draft sequence of the mouse genome. We also present an initial comparative analysis of the mouse and human genomes, describing some of the insights that can be gleaned from the two sequences. We discuss topics including the analysis of the evolutionary forces shaping the size, structure and sequence of the genomes; the conservation of large-scale synteny across most of the genomes; the much lower extent of sequence orthology covering less than half of the genomes; the proportions of the genomes under selection; the number of protein-coding genes; the expansion of gene families related to reproduction and immunity; the evolution of proteins; and the identification of intraspecies polymorphism.
Gene targeting in embryonic stem cells has become the principal technology for manipulation of the mouse genome, offering unrivalled accuracy in allele design and access to conditional mutagenesis. To bring these advantages to the wider research community, large-scale mouse knockout programmes are producing a permanent resource of targeted mutations in all protein-coding genes. Here we report the establishment of a high-throughput gene-targeting pipeline for the generation of reporter-tagged, conditional alleles. Computational allele design, 96-well modular vector construction and high-efficiency gene-targeting strategies have been combined to mutate genes on an unprecedented scale. So far, more than 12,000 vectors and 9,000 conditional targeted alleles have been produced in highly germline-competent C57BL/6N embryonic stem cells. High-throughput genome engineering highlighted by this study is broadly applicable to rat and human stem cells and provides a foundation for future genome-wide efforts aimed at deciphering the function of all genes encoded by the mammalian genome.
The human X chromosome has a unique biology that was shaped by its evolution as the sex chromosome shared by males and females. We have determined 99.3% of the euchromatic sequence of the X chromosome. Our analysis illustrates the autosomal origin of the mammalian sex chromosomes, the stepwise process that led to the progressive loss of recombination between X and Y, and the extent of subsequent degradation of the Y chromosome. LINE1 repeat elements cover one-third of the X chromosome, with a distribution that is consistent with their proposed role as way stations in the process of X-chromosome inactivation. We found 1,098 genes in the sequence, of which 99 encode proteins expressed in testis and in various tumour types. A disproportionately high number of mendelian diseases are documented for the X chromosome. Of this number, 168 have been explained by mutations in 113 X-linked genes, which in many cases were characterized with the aid of the DNA sequence.
Highlights d COVID-19 plasma IgGs can recognize SARS-2, SARS, and MERS S proteins d EM reconstructions of polyclonal Fab-S complexes revealed S1 A and RBD epitopes d 3.4 Å cryo-EM structure of a neutralizing Fab-S complex showed binding to ''up'' RBDs d Structures define a recurrent VH3-53/VH3-66-derived anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody class
HIV-1 immunotherapy with a combination of first generation monoclonal antibodies was largely ineffective in pre-clinical and clinical settings and was therefore abandoned1–3. However, recently developed single cell based antibody cloning methods have uncovered a new generation of far more potent broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) to HIV-14,5. These antibodies can prevent infection and suppress viremia in humanized mice (hu-mice) and nonhuman primates, but their potential for human HIV-1 immunotherapy has not been evaluated6–10. Here we report the results of a first-in-man dose escalation phase 1 clinical trial of 3BNC117, a potent human CD4 binding site antibody11, in uninfected and HIV-1-infected individuals. 3BNC117 infusion was well tolerated and demonstrated favorable pharmacokinetics. A single 30 mg/kg infusion of 3BNC117 reduced the viral load (VL) in HIV-1-infected individuals by 0.8 – 2.5 log10 and viremia remained significantly reduced for 28 days. Emergence of resistant viral strains was variable, with some individuals remaining sensitive to 3BNC117 for a period of 28 days. We conclude that as a single agent 3BNC117 is safe and effective in reducing HIV-1 viremia, and that immunotherapy should be explored as a new modality for HIV-1 prevention, therapy, and cure.
The cation-t interaction is an important, general force for molecular recognition in biological receptors. Through the sidechains of aromatic amino acids, novel binding sites for cationic ligands such as acetylcholine can be constructed. We report here a number of calculations on prototypical cation-7r systems, emphasizing structures of relevance to biological receptors and prototypical heterocycles of the type often of importance in medicinal chemistry. Trends in the data can be rationalized using a relatively simple model that emphasizes the electrostatic component of the cation-ir interaction. In particular, plots of the electrostatic potential surfaces of the relevant aromatics provide useful guidelines for predicting cation-7r interactions in new systems.of relevance to biological receptors and prototype heterocycles of the type often of importance in medicinal chemistry. We find that all the trends in this series are qualitatively reproduced by considering only the electrostatic potential energy surface of the aromatic in the absence of a cation, consistent with the electrostatic model. In addition, the current model successfully rationalizes observations concerning the relative frequency of different aromatic amino acids at biological cation-Ir sites. We also show that the major trends of the ab initio surfaces are reproduced using the much less costly AM1 method, greatly expanding the range of applicability of the method.In recent years, studies of model systems and the analysis of biological macromolecular structures have established the importance of the cation-rr interaction as a force for molecular recognition in aqueous media (1). Appropriately designed cyclophane receptors serve as powerful, general hosts for quaternary ammonium, sulfonium, and guanidinium cations, in large part because of the cation-IT interaction (2-4). In the gas phase, the binding of simple cations to benzene and related structures has been shown to be quite substantial, comparable even to cation-water interactions (5). In addition, a large amount of evidence has now been developed that establishes cation-IT interactions as important in a number of biological binding sites for cations (1,6,7). Cation-IT interactions have been considered in such diverse systems as acetylcholine receptors (nicotinic, muscarinic, and ACh esterase), K+ channels, the cyclase enzymes of steroid biosynthesis, and enzymes that catalyze methylation reactions involving S-adenosylmethionine (1). Cation-Ir interactions have also been invoked to rationalize specific drug-receptor interactions (8)(9)(10)(11)
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