Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 31: Combining a Fusion Inhibitory Peptide Targeting the MERS-CoV S2 Protein HR1 Domain and a Neutralizing Antibody Specific for the S1 Protein Receptor-Binding Domain (RBD) Showed Potent Synergism against Pseudotyped MERS-CoV with or without Mutations in RBD (Viruses)
Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has continuously posed a threat to public health worldwide, yet no therapeutics or vaccines are currently available to prevent or treat MERS-CoV infection. We previously identified a fusion inhibitory peptide (HR2P-M2) targeting the MERS-CoV S2 protein HR1 domain and a highly potent neutralizing monoclonal antibody (m336) specific to the S1 spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD). However, m336 was found to have reduced efficacy against MERS-CoV strains with mutations in RBD, and HR2P-M2 showed low potency, thus limiting the clinical application of each when administered separately. However, we herein report that the combination of m336 and HR2P-M2 exhibited potent synergism in inhibiting MERS-CoV S protein-mediated cell–cell fusion and infection by MERS-CoV pseudoviruses with or without mutations in the RBD, resulting in the enhancement of antiviral activity in contrast to either one administered alone. Thus, this combinatorial strategy could be used in clinics for the urgent treatment of MERS-CoV-infected patients.