Convergent antibody responses to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in convalescent and vaccinated individuals

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Author Name

Elaine C Chen

Pavlo Gilchuk


Seth J. Zost

Emma S Winkler

Carly R. Cabel

Elad Binshtein

Rachel E Sutton

Jessica L. Rodriguez

Samuel Day

Luke Myers

Andrew Trivette

Jazmean K. Williams

Edgar Davidson

Shuaizhi Li

Benjamin J Doranz

Samuel K. Campos

Robert H. Carnahan

Curtis A. Thorne

Michael S. Diamond

James E. Crowe

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Unrelated individuals can produce genetically similar clones of antibodies, known as public clonotypes, which have been seen in responses to different infectious diseases as well as healthy individuals. Here we identify 37 public clonotypes in memory B cells from convalescent survivors of SARS-CoV-2 infection or in plasmablasts from an individual after vaccination with mRNA-encoded spike protein. We identified 29 public clonotypes, including clones recognizing the receptor-binding domain (RBD) in the spike protein S1 subunit (including a neutralizing, ACE2-blocking clone that protects in vivo), and others recognizing non-RBD epitopes that bound the heptad repeat 1 region of the S2 domain. Germline-revertant forms of some public clonotypes bound efficiently to spike protein, suggesting these common germline-encoded antibodies are preconfigured for avid recognition. Identification of large numbers of public clonotypes provides insight into the molecular basis of efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and sheds light on the immune pressures driving the selection of common viral escape mutants.

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