A SARS-CoV-2 Spike Binding DNA Aptamer that Inhibits Pseudovirus Infection by an RBD-Independent Mechanism*.

The receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike glycoprotein of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (CoV2-S) binds to the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) representing the initial contact point for leveraging the infection cascade. We used an automated selection process and identified an aptamer that specifically interacts with CoV2-S. The aptamer does ...
not bind to the RBD of CoV2-S and does not block the interaction of CoV2-S with ACE2. Nevertheless, infection studies revealed potent and specific inhibition of pseudoviral infection by the aptamer. The present study opens up new vistas in developing SARS-CoV2 infection inhibitors, independent of blocking the ACE2 interaction of the virus, and harnesses aptamers as potential drug candidates and tools to disentangle hitherto inaccessible infection modalities, which is of particular interest in light of the increasing number of escape mutants that are currently being reported.
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl
Date: Apr. 26, 2021
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