RBD-Fc-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate induces highly potent SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody response.Signal Transduct Target Ther. 2020 11 27; 5(1):282.ST
The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has posed serious threats to global health and economy, thus calling for the development of safe and effective vaccines. The receptor-binding domain (RBD) in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 is responsible for its binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. It contains multiple dominant neutralizing epitopes and serves as an important antigen for the development of COVID-19 vaccines. Here, we showed that immunization of mice with a candidate subunit vaccine consisting of SARS-CoV-2 RBD and Fc fragment of human IgG, as an immunopotentiator, elicited high titer of RBD-specific antibodies with robust neutralizing activity against both pseudotyped and live SARS-CoV-2 infections. The mouse antisera could also effectively neutralize infection by pseudotyped SARS-CoV-2 with several natural mutations in RBD and the IgG extracted from the mouse antisera could also show neutralization against pseudotyped SARS-CoV and SARS-related coronavirus (SARSr-CoV). Vaccination of human ACE2 transgenic mice with RBD-Fc could effectively protect mice from the SARS-CoV-2 challenge. These results suggest that SARS-CoV-2 RBD-Fc has good potential to be further developed as an effective and broad-spectrum vaccine to prevent infection of the current SARS-CoV-2 and its mutants, as well as future emerging SARSr-CoVs and re-emerging SARS-CoV.