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Lentil lectin derived from Lens culinaris exhibit broad antiviral activities against SARS-CoV-2 variants.



Emerg Microbes Infect. 2021 Dec ;10(1):1519-1529. PMID: 34278967

Abstract Title: 

Lentil lectin derived fromexhibit broad antiviral activities against SARS-CoV-2 variants.


The spike (S) protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) mutated continuously and newly emerging variants escape from antibody-mediated neutralization raised great concern. S protein is heavily glycosylated and the glycosylation sites are relatively conserved, thus glycans on S protein surface could be a target for the development of anti-SARS-CoV-2 strategies against variants. Here, we collected 12 plant-derived lectins with different carbohydrate specificity and evaluated their anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity against mutant strains and epidemic variants using a pseudovirus-based neutralization assay. The-derived lentil lectin which specifically bind to oligomannose-type glycans and GlcNAc at the non-reducing end terminus showed most potent and broad antiviral activity against a panel of mutant strains and variants, including the artificial mutants at N-/O-linked glycosylation site, natural existed amino acid mutants, as well as the epidemic variants B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1. Lentil lectin also showed antiviral activity against SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. We found lentil lectin could block the binding of ACE2 to S trimer and inhibit SARS-CoV-2 at the early steps of infection. Using structural information and determined N-glycan profile of S trimer, taking together with the carbohydrate specificity of lentil lectin, we provide a basis for the observed broad spectrum anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity. Lentil lectin showed weak haemagglutination activity at 1 mg/mL and no cytotoxicity activity, and no weight loss was found in single injection mouse experiment. This report provides the first evidence that lentil lectin strongly inhibit infection of SARS-COV-2 variants, which should provide valuable insights for developing future anti-SARS-CoV-2 strategies. Read More

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