Introduction

The outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) rapidly spread from Wuhan, China to multiple countries, causing staggering number of infections and deaths. A systematic profiling of the immune vulnerability landscape of SARS-CoV-2, which can bring critical insights into the immune clearance mechanism, peptide vaccine development, and antiviral antibody development, is lacking. In this study, we investigated the potential of the SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins to induce class I and II MHC presentation and to form linear antibody epitopes. We created an online database to broadly share the predictions as a resource for the research community. Using this resource, we showed that genetic variations in SARS-CoV-2, though fewer for the moment, already follow the pattern of mutations in related coronaviruses, and could alter the immune vulnerability landscape of this virus. Importantly, we discovered evidence that SARS-CoV-2 used mutations to evade attack from the human immune system. Overall, we present an immunological resource for SARS-CoV-2 that could significantly promote both therapeutic development and mechanistic research.

Phylogenetic Tree

SARS-CoV-2

SARS-CoV-2 - Mutation rate

SARS-CoV-2 - T cell epitope density

legend

SARS-CoV-2 - B cell epitope density

SARS

SARS - Mutation rate

SARS - T cell epitope density

legend

SARS - B cell epitope density

MERS

Mers - Mutation rate

Mers - T cell epitope density

legend

MERS - B cell epitope density

Reference

James Zhu, Jiwoong Kim, Xue Xiao, Yunguan Wang, Danni Luo, Ran Chen, Lin Xu, He Zhang, Guanghua Xiao, John W. Schoggins, Xiaowei Zhan, Tao Wang, Yang Xie, (2020), The immune vulnerability landscape of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2

(For related works done by Dr. Ting Wang at WUSTL and more information about SARS-CoV-2, please visit the WashU Virus Genome Browser: https://virusgateway.wustl.edu/)