COVID-19, caused by a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, poses a serious global threat. It was first reported in 2019 in China and has now dramatically spread across the world. It is crucial to develop therapeutics to mitigate severe disease and viral spread. The receptor-binding domains (RBDs) in the spike protein of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV have shown anti-viral activity in previous reports suggesting that this domain has high potential for development as therapeutics. To evaluate the potential antiviral activity of recombinant SARS-CoV-2 RBD proteins, we determined the RBD residues of SARS-CoV-2 using a homology search with RBD of SARS-CoV. For efficient expression and purification, the signal peptide of spike protein was identified and used to generate constructs expressing recombinant RBD proteins. Highly purified RBD protein fused with the Fc domain of human IgG showed potent anti-viral efficacy, which was better than that of a protein fused with a histidine tag. Intranasally pre-administrated RBD protein also inhibited the attachment of SARS-COV-2 to mouse lungs. These findings indicate that RBD protein could be used for the prevention and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein efficiently inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection and attachment to mouse lung
The rapid adaptation of SARS-CoV-2–rise of the variants: transmission and resistance