Moliner-Morro A, J Sheward D, Karl V, Perez Vidakovics L, Murrell B, McInerney GM, Hanke L
Biomolecules 10 (12) - [2020-12-11; online 2020-12-11]
Multivalent antibody constructs have a broad range of clinical and biotechnological applications. Nanobodies are especially useful as components for multivalent constructs as they allow increased valency while maintaining a small molecule size. We here describe a novel, rapid method for the generation of bi- and multivalent nanobody constructs with oriented assembly by Cu-free strain promoted azide-alkyne click chemistry (SPAAC). We used sortase A for ligation of click chemistry functional groups site-specifically to the C-terminus of nanobodies before creating C-to-C-terminal nanobody fusions and 4-arm polyethylene glycol (PEG) tetrameric nanobody constructs. We demonstrated the viability of this approach by generating constructs with the SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing nanobody Ty1. We compared the ability of the different constructs to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 pseudotyped virus and infectious virus in neutralization assays. The generated dimers neutralized the virus similarly to a nanobody-Fc fusion variant, while a 4-arm PEG based tetrameric Ty1 construct dramatically enhanced neutralization of SARS-CoV-2, with an IC 50 in the low picomolar range.