A unique IgA antibody that can protect the respiratory system from infection with the new coronavirus has been discovered by scientists from the University of Massachusetts.
New study by MassBiologics researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, found that specific IgA monoclonal antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 likely to provide effective respiratory immunity to the new coronavirus, finding important for the vaccine preparation effort. The findings are published in Nature Communications.
According to Yang Wang, MD, Ph.D., Deputy Director for Product Discovery at MassBiologics and Associate Professor of Medicine, it is the discovery and characterization of a human monoclonal antibody (MAB) to the SARS-CoV-2 spin proteins that block the binding of the virus by ACE2 receptors to the airway mucosa, preventing or potentially reducing infection with the virus responsible for COVID-19.
The basis for the breakthrough lies in research material 16 years, when MassBiologics developed an IgG monoclonal antibody effective against a similar SARS virus - responsible for SARS-CoV, the first severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by a new coronavirus.
When SARS-CoV-2 started to spread, The researchers started the process of retrieving the old SARS program, recovering frozen hybrid cells that had grown 16 years ago, to study whether the program could be applied to the case of the new coronavirus. Despite the similarity of the two viruses against 90%, the monoclonal antibody showed no binding to SARS-CoV-2, while a second attempt with another monoclonal antibody failed.
The desired result was achieved when they turned to another of their older research programs for the development of secretory immunoglobulin A (sIGE), of an antibody that plays an important role in mucosal immunity, and specifically in the gastrointestinal tract to find possible treatment for the prevention of gastrointestinal infections. Researchers have developed an antibody that provides passive immunity to the airway mucosa, with a similar ability to bind and neutralize. They named it MAb362.
Following the important findings, the MassBiologics team collaborated with Celia Schiffer, Ph.D., Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology at the Gladys Smith Marti Chair of Oncology and Director of the Institute for Drug Resistance, and her then postgraduate student, Shurong Hou, to better understand immunoglobulin A antibodies. Dr.. Dr.. Schiffer and Hou found that the MAb362 antibody was quite specific to the MAb 80R, another SARS-CoV antibody. A molecular model revealed a conserved protective epitope within the S protein binding region of the receptor. Το MAb362 έδειξε να εξουδετερώνει τον αυθεντικό ιό SARS-CoV-2 με άμεσο ανταγωνισμό της δέσμευσης της πρωτεΐνης S στους υποδοχείς hACE2.
Το μοναδικό αντίσωμα IgA, σύμφωνα με την επιστημονική ομάδα, θα μπορούσε ενδεχομένως μέσω της χορήγησης βλεννογόνου και σε συνδυασμό με άλλα θεραπευτικά σχήματα να συμβάλει στην άμεση προστασία των βλεννογόνων.