|EpiGentek Generates Novel SARS-CoV-2 Furin Site Blocking Polyclonal Antibody (fbAB)
FARMINGDALE, NEW YORK – EpigenTek, a Farmingdale, NY-based biotech firm specializing in epigenetic research products, has successfully developed and generated a new antibody: Furin Site Blocking Polyclonal Antibody (fbAB), that specifically targets the SARS-CoV-2-specific furin motif. This antibody has high sensitivity and specificity for the furin cleavage site of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, and was shown in vitro to efficiently block both the cleavage by purified enzymes (furin, trypsin) and human specimens (nasal swab samples), and to disrupt spike-ACE2 interaction.
fbAB blockage of SARS-CoV-2 furin motif cleavage by furin. Furin concentration = 2-4 U/well. fbAB and spike protein neutralization antibody (SnAB) concentration = 200 ng/well.
The need for this novel antibody and background of its production stems from the observations that SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein contains a furin cleavage site that is activated upon cleavage by furin and furin-like proprotein convertases (PCs) for host cell entry via the ACE2 receptor. Current approaches to blocking or reducing furin site cleavage of target proteins are predicated on the direct inhibition of these enzymes. The inhibitors are selective for the proteases themselves rather than specific sites of proteolytic activity. Thus, their inhibitory effect is limited with regard to preventing furin site cleavage exclusively at a precise location such as the S protein of SARS-CoV-2. In addition, furin and furin-like PCs are widely distributed in various human tissues. The inhibition of host proteases could non-specifically damage the normal functionality of proteins that require activation by these enzymes.
Specificity of fbAB recognizing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein containing the S1/S2 boundary furin site or a peptide containing the SARS-CoV-2-specific furin motif. fbAB was added at the indicated dilutions to wells coated with the different targets (10 ng/well). A: SARS-CoV-2 protein containing the S1/S2 boundary furin site; B: Peptide containing the SARS-CoV-2-specific furin motif; C: SARS-CoV-2 S1 RBD protein lacking the S1/S2 boundary furin site.
The advantages of this novel approach are as follows:
The Furin Site Blocking Antibody (fbAB) is now available for purchase through the website and the preprint paper discussing the generation and validation of the antibody can be found on BioRXiv.
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