Cooperation-ProtTech Inc.

Research Note

ProtTech has developed recombinant COVID-19 (SARS-COV-2) N Protein, potentially used for COVID-19 research and development.

SARS-CoV2 nucleocapsid protein (N protein) contains multiple T-cell and B-cell epitopes, and the combination of S and N proteins in a subunit vaccine may increase the efficacy of the vaccine for long term protection. We have developed an E. coli based expression system to express N protein at high yield with the native sequence, and have developed the procedure to purify the N-protein to a high purity.

In anticipating the antigenic drift of the virus which may compromise the efficacy of a vaccine, we are currently in the process of making a number of mutant forms of S1-RBD protein. Up to this point, the amino acid sequence of SARS-CoV2 S1-RBD regions is conserved among the virus strains isolated from different geographic area at different times, and several high frequency mutations identified so far are located outside of S1-RBD region (e.g. D614G and S943P mutations). However, a number of mutations in S1-RBD region have emerged from different areas that may give the virus a higher affinity toward the human ACE2 receptor and there is a possibility that those mutations with higher R0 can be accumulated during the virus spread around the world. We are working on the expression of V367F, D364Y and W436R mutant forms of S1-RBD, which could be valuable if those SARS-COV2 mutant strains become more dominant during the worldwide spread and possible recurrent infections of COVID-19 virus in the future. One advantage of using the E. coli expression system for subunit vaccine development is the ability to rapidly develop a modified version of the vaccine if a mutant virus strain evades the protection of the original vaccine.

Please contact us if you are interested in collaborating with us to develop COVID19 subunit vaccines to contain this pandemic.