Shark nanobodies with potent SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing activity and broad sarbecovirus reactivity.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Nat Commun, Volume 14, Issue 1, p.580 (2023)


Animals, Antibodies, Neutralizing, Antibodies, Viral, COVID-19, Epitopes, Ferritins, Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments, Mice, Mice, Transgenic, SARS-CoV-2, Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus, Sharks, Single-Domain Antibodies, Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus


<p>Despite rapid and ongoing vaccine and therapeutic development, SARS-CoV-2 continues to evolve and evade, presenting a need for next-generation diverse therapeutic modalities. Here we show that nurse sharks immunized with SARS-CoV-2 recombinant receptor binding domain (RBD),&nbsp;RBD-ferritin (RFN), or spike protein ferritin nanoparticle (SpFN) immunogens elicit a set of new antigen receptor antibody (IgNAR) molecules that target two non-overlapping conserved epitopes on the spike RBD. Representative shark antibody variable NAR-Fc chimeras (ShAbs) targeting either of the two epitopes mediate cell-effector functions, with high affinity to all SARS-CoV-2 viral variants of concern, including the divergent Omicron strains. The ShAbs potently cross-neutralize SARS-CoV-2 WA-1, Alpha, Beta, Delta, Omicron BA.1 and BA.5, and SARS-CoV-1 pseudoviruses, and confer protection against SARS-CoV-2 challenge in the K18-hACE2 transgenic mouse model. Structural definition of the RBD-ShAb01-ShAb02 complex enabled design and production of multi-specific nanobodies with enhanced neutralization capacity, and picomolar affinity to divergent sarbecovirus clade 1a, 1b and 2 RBD molecules. These shark nanobodies represent potent immunotherapeutics both for current use, and future sarbecovirus pandemic preparation.</p>