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A nanomaterial focusing on the spike protein captures SARS-CoV-2 variants and promotes viral elimination

Preparation of CIPS nanosheets

Bulk CIPS materials was synthesized by solid-state response in accordance with a beforehand printed process43. CIPS nanosheets have been exfoliated from bulk CIPS crystals by Li intercalation utilizing n-butyllithium assisted by ultrasonication. After exfoliation, the nanosheets have been centrifuged at 1,500g for 20 min after which rinsed with ethanol twice to take away free n-butyllithium within the suspension. The collected suspension was lastly lyophilized and saved in dry situations at −20 °C.

MS evaluation of RBD–CIPS binding

Pattern preparation and MS evaluation

The RBD protein (40 μl, 0.5 mg ml–1 dissolved in PBS) was combined with 40 μl CIPS (1 mg ml–1 dissolved in PBS) in a centrifuge tube, the ultimate quantity was delivered to 200 μl with PBS and the combination incubated at 37 °C for 40 min. Afterwards, two-step isotope labelling of the native proteins was carried out. NaCNBD3 (1.5 μl at 50 μg μl–1) and 13CD2O (1.5 μl at 2 wt%) have been added to the samples for lively protein labelling, incubated at 25 °C for five min, combined with 5 M NH4OAc (1 μl) and freeze-dried. Within the second step of the labelling course of, every pattern was redissolved in 90 μl denaturing answer (6 M guanidine hydrochloride (GUA)–50 mM HEPES, pH 7.4). Then, 10 μl of 0.4 M pyridine–borane and 1 μl of 4% CH2O have been added to every pattern, which have been then maintained at 37 °C for two h to finish the dimethylation of the lysine residues. The labelling response was quenched by including 1 μl of 5 M NH4OAc. Subsequent, the protein was extracted and hydrolysed with protease. After response, every pattern was combined with 200 μl of 10% ammonia, incubated at 37 °C for five min and centrifuged at 23,000g at 4 °C for 20 min to take away CIPS. The protein buffer system was exchanged into 6 M GUA–50 mM HEPES buffer answer by ultrafiltration with centrifugal ultrafiltration items with a nominal molecular weight cut-off of 3K. The proteins have been then diminished with 5 mM tris (2-carboxyethyl) phosphine hydrochloride (TCEP) and sequentially alkylated with 10 mM iodoacetamide (IAA). The buffer system was once more exchanged for 20 mM NH4HCO3 by centrifugal ultrafiltration. Lastly, the proteins have been enzymatically hydrolysed with chymotrypsin for 16 h at 37 °C at a substrate/enzyme ratio of 1:25 (wt/wt). After enzymatic hydrolysis, the peptide samples have been acidified with 10% trifluoroacetic acid (TFA), freeze-dried and saved at 80 °C till evaluation.

LC–MS evaluation was carried out utilizing an Orbitrap Fusion Lumos Tribrid mass spectrometer coupled to a Vanquish Flex HPLC system (ThermoFisher Scientific). In short, 1 μg peptide pattern was first loaded onto a 5 cm × 150 μm C18 lure column with 3 μm C18 particles and separated on a 25 cm × 150 μm C18 capillary column with 2.4 μm C18 particles. The cellular section of this reversed-phase HPLC system consists of cellular section A (0.1% formic acid (FA) in aqueous answer) and cellular section B (0.1% FA in acetonitrile). The reversed-phase binary separation gradient was set as 0:100–5:95 (B:A, v:v) for two min, 5:95–35:65 (B:A, v:v) for 45 min, 35:65–80:20 (B:A, v:v) for 3 min and, after washing with 80:20 (B:A, v:v) for five min, the system was equilibrated with 100% cellular section A for 15 min.

Information evaluation

A database of RBD protein sequences was downloaded from UniProt ( Maxquant v.1.6.7, ( was used to look this database for the collected MS knowledge. Quantification multiplicity was set to five, and DimethyLys0, DimethylLys4A and DimethylLys8 have been chosen. Chymotrypsin was chosen with a most missed cleavage of 5. The perform of match between runs was enabled. The opposite parameters have been set as default values. The native labelling effectivity (NLE) values might be calculated from NLE = 1 − IL/(IH + IM + IL), the place IH, IM and IL are the depth of heavy, medium and light-weight labelled peptide types containing the corresponding lysine residues, respectively.

The RBD construction was adopted from the PDB file 7CZR. Based mostly on the experimental outcomes of lysine reactivity, protein show and structural evaluation have been carried out by PyMOL v.1.9 (

CIPS results on Vero-E6 cell an infection by SARS-CoV-2 and its VOCs

The experiments have been carried out in a biosafety stage 3 laboratory with normal rules. SARS-CoV-2 (GDPCC-nCOV-8) and 4 VOCs (Alpha (GDPCC2.00304), Beta (GDPCC2.00004), Delta (GDPCC2.00096) and Omicron (GDPCC2.00297)) have been remoted and typed within the laboratory of the Guangdong Heart for Human Pathogen Tradition Assortment (GDPCC) and propagated on Vero-E6 cells.

For the an infection experiments, Vero-E6 cells have been seeded in 96-well plates at a density of two × 104 cells per properly and cultured in a single day. CIPS at varied concentrations (1.5–96 pM) and SARS-CoV-2 or VOCs (50% tissue tradition infectious dose (TCID50) = 100) have been added collectively to the Vero-E6 cells and incubated for two h. The cells have been then washed twice with heat 1× PBS and cultured for a further 48 h with recent cell tradition medium (DMEM with 1% penicillin/streptomycin and 10% fetal bovine serum) or CIPS-containing medium. Non-infected cells and CIPS alone have been used as controls. Supernatants have been collected after 48 h, and SARS-CoV-2 was quantitatively analysed by rtPCR utilizing a business COVID-19 detection equipment (catalogue no. DA0931, DaAn Gene), focusing on the nucleocapsid protein and open studying body 1ab (ORF1ab). In short, the nucleocapsid protein and ORF1ab have been detected utilizing FAM- and VIC-labelled TaqMan probes (Utilized Biosystems 7500, ThermoFisher Scientific). Amplification was carried out as follows: 50 °C for 15 min, 95 °C for 15 min, adopted by 45 cycles of 94 °C for 15 s and 55 °C for 45 s. For quantitative analysis, plasmid requirements have been used to determine a typical curve by serial dilution (copy quantity versus fluorometric worth), which was used to calculate the RNA copy variety of SARS-CoV-2 from the fluorometric worth of the samples. The usual curve is described by (y = 50 occasions 10^{(12.352 ;-; 0.2771 ;occasions; C_{mathrm{T}})}). The an infection price was calculated and normalized to virus an infection controls. The situation of the Vero-E6 cells after SARS-CoV-2 an infection was noticed at 48 h, and optical microscopy photographs have been acquired. The occupied house of the cells was analysed by ImageJ and the information are given as a share of the world coated by the cells, as an estimate of intact wholesome cells within the picture.

For the experiments assessing the post-infection results of CIPS, Vero-E6 cells have been seeded in 24-well plates at a density of two × 105 cells per properly and cultured in a single day. The cells have been challenged with SARS-CoV-2 (50 TCID50) for two h after which washed with PBS to take away non-internalized virus. The cells have been then cultured in recent medium or medium containing CIPS at varied concentrations (24, 48 and 96 pM) for 48 h. The cells have been collected and lysed with RNAplus (Takara Bio). Intracellular SARS-CoV-2 was evaluated by qPCR for the S protein. Mobile 18S was used as housekeeping management.

The therapy window for CIPS was decided in vitro by including CIPS to the tradition medium at completely different occasions after SARS-CoV-2 problem. Vero-E6 cells have been seeded in 24-well plates at a density of two × 105 cells per properly, cultured in a single day after which challenged with SARS-CoV-2 (50 TCID50). The virus-containing medium was discarded after 2 h and the contaminated cells have been washed with PBS twice to take away free virus. Contemporary medium was added and the tradition continued till 48 h. Problem with virus was thought-about as time 0. CIPS (12 pM) was added at time 0 or 2, 4 and 24 h after viral problem. No CIPS therapy served as management. After 48 h, the tradition medium was collected and the viral RNA was extracted utilizing a Excessive Pure Viral RNA Package (Roche) and quantitated by rtPCR (QRZ-101, TOYOBO).

CIPS results on SARS-CoV-2 an infection of human airway epithelial tissue cultures

A SARS-CoV-2 inoculum of two × 104 TCID50 in 50 μl of the identical medium as that used for the organoid tradition was added to a single airway epithelial tissue-bearing transwell insert positioned within the wells of a round-bottomed 24-well plate within the absence or presence of 24 pM CIPS and incubated at 37 °C for 1 h. The inoculum was eliminated and the tissue-bearing inserts have been washed 3 times with PBS to take away unbound virus. Every virus-infected tissue-bearing insert was transferred to a single properly of a brand new 24-well plate (Corning) with 500 μl of recent serum-free progress medium (cat. no. 05001, STEMCELL Applied sciences) or CIPS-containing medium, and incubated at 37 °C with 5% CO2 for twenty-four h. RNA extraction was carried out after the addition of 150 μl Trizol (Qiagen) to the epithelial cell tradition. The viral RNA within the collected samples was decided by qPCR with reverse transcription (RT–qPCR) utilizing a SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic equipment (cat. no. 2C-HX-201-2, BioGerm; accredited by the China Heart for Illness Management and Prevention) following the producer’s protocol. To look at the histological modifications brought on by SARS-CoV-2 an infection and CIPS therapy, paraffin-embedded epithelia have been sectioned at a thickness of three μm and examined after H&E staining. Immunofluorescence was carried out with anti-acetyl-α-tubulin (Lys40) mouse mAb (cat. no. 6-11B-1) and anti-MUC5AC rabbit mAb (cat. no. E3O9I) from Cell Signaling Know-how.

CIPS results on SARS-CoV-2 an infection of hACE2 transgenic mice in vivo

Six- to eight-week-old male hACE2 transgenic mice have been bought from Gempharmatech (B6JGpt-Ace2em1Cin(hACE2-stop)/Gpt, cat. no. T037630). The SARS-CoV-2 (Nationwide Microbiology Information Heart accession quantity: NMDCN0000HUI, resource/ncov/genome/element/NMDCN0000HUI) used for in vivo analysis was kindly supplied by the Guangdong Provincial Heart for Illness Management and Prevention, Guangdong Province of China. SARS-CoV-2 problem was carried out in an animal biosafety stage 3 facility at Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese language Academy of Sciences (CAS). This animal experiment was carried out in accord with the suggestions detailed within the Information for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of Kunming Institute of Zoology, CAS, with approval ID IACUC-RE-2021-05-001 from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees of Kunming Institute of Zoology, CAS. Three mice per group have been employed within the following experiments.

Mice have been challenged with SARS-CoV-2 and CIPS by intranasal instillation (i.n.). The viral problem (5 × 106 TCID50 per mouse) was delivered in two 30 μl administrations 20 min aside to scale back animal discomfort and improve uptake. CIPS (4 and eight mg per kg physique weight, akin to 2.4 and 4.8 pmol per kg physique weight) was administered with the primary viral dose. After 3 days, the mice have been sacrificed.

A second experiment was carried out to match therapeutic and prophylactic therapy with CIPS. Mice have been challenged by i.n. with SARS-CoV-2 (1 × 106 TCID50 per mouse, 30 μl), and CIPS (8 mg per kg physique weight, akin to 4.8 pmol per kg physique weight) was administrated 1 h earlier than (prophylactic) or after (therapeutic) viral an infection. After 3 days, the mice have been sacrificed.

RNA was extracted from lungs utilizing RNAiso PLUS (Takara) in accordance with the producer’s protocol. SARS-CoV-2 RNA within the lung was measured by RT–qPCR as beforehand reported44. The outcomes are expressed because the variety of SARS-CoV-2 RNA copies per microgram lung whole RNA. The usual curve for the calculation of RNA is described by (y = 0.87 occasions 10^{2.3026 ;occasions; (-0.3297 ;occasions; C_{mathrm{T}};+; 12.822)}). To evaluate the presence of pathological alterations, the lung tissue was examined by microscopic commentary of histological sections stained with H&E. Immunofluorescence evaluation was carried out by staining with antibodies to F4/80 (GB11027, Servicebio Know-how) for macrophages and in opposition to SARS-CoV-2 spike S1 (ABclonal) for SARS-CoV-2. The colocalization of SARS-CoV-2 with macrophages within the lung tissue following CIPS therapy was analysed by microscopy (VS200, Olympus).

SARS-CoV-2 affiliation to CIPS

SARS-CoV-2 (1.2 × 104 TCID50) was incubated with CIPS (6 and 12 pM in 200 μl PBS) for 1 h. Samples have been centrifuged (1,000g for five min) to gather CIPS-trapped SARS-CoV-2 in precipitates. After RNA extraction, the presence of SARS-CoV-2 was quantitatively analysed by rtPCR for the S protein.

Willpower of secondary construction of proteins by CD

The secondary construction of the RBD within the absence or presence of CIPS was assessed by CD (J-810, JASCO). The RBD (200 μg ml–1 in 0.01 M phosphate buffer, pH 7.4) was combined with CIPS (15, 30 and 60 pM) after which added to the cuvette with a thickness of 1 mm. CD spectra have been collected between 190 and 250 nm. Every pattern was measured six occasions and the spectra have been averaged. The spectral knowledge have been processed utilizing the CD Software software program ( The baseline (between 235 and 250 nm) was subtracted. Normalized knowledge have been analysed utilizing DICROWEB to calculate the precentage of secondary construction, and the smoothed knowledge are proven.

CIPS results on the SC2-P interplay with macrophages

Cells of the human acute monocytic leukaemia cell line THP-1 have been seeded in 24-well plates with a canopy slide at 5 × 104 cells per properly (for uptake/degradation), or in 96-well plates at 1 × 104 cells per properly (for an infection), and handled with 100 ng ml–1 PMA for twenty-four h to induce macrophage differentiation.

For the uptake/degradation experiments, SC2-P (4 × 106 copies) was pre-incubated with CIPS (12 pM) for two h after which added to macrophages for twenty-four h (uptake interval). The SC2-P-containing medium was then changed with recent medium, and the tradition continued for an additional 24 h (degradation interval). The lysosomal inhibitor BM (100 nM; MedChemExpress) was added to macrophages 6 h earlier than the tip of tradition. The uptake and degradation of SC2-P have been detected by immunofluorescence, and the colocalization of SC2-P and lysosomes was assessed by immunofluorescence. Lysosome and SC2-P have been stained with antibodies to LAMP-1 (cat. no. NBP2-52721, Novus Biologicals) and anti-Flag (cat. no. AF0036, Beyotime Biotechnology), respectively.

For the an infection experiments, macrophages have been cultured with SC2-P (2 × 105 copies) for twenty-four h within the absence or presence of CIPS (24 pM), after which washed with PBS to take away extracellular virus. Cells have been cultured with recent medium for a further 24 h. BM (100 nM) was added at 18 h. Cells have been then lysed for luciferase analysis (cat. no. E1910, Promega).

CIPS results on the SARS-CoV-2 interplay with macrophages

The experiments have been carried out in a biosafety stage 3 laboratory with normal rules. The differentiation of THP-1 cells to macrophages was carried out as described above in 24-well plates with 2 × 105 cells per properly.

For the uptake/degradation experiments, SARS-CoV-2 (2.4 × 104 TCID50) was added to macrophages for 4 h (uptake interval). The cells have been then washed twice with heat PBS and cultured for a further 48 h with recent medium (degradation interval). RNA was extracted from the macrophages with RNAplus, and intracellular SARS-CoV-2 was evaluated quantitatively by rtPCR for the S protein.

The CIPS impact was evaluated by pre-incubating the genuine SARS-CoV-2 virus (2.4 × 104 TCID50) with CIPS (12 pM) for two h, after which including the virus (with or with out CIPS pretreatment) to macrophages in tradition for 48 h within the absence or presence of BM (100 nM). The macrophages have been washed twice with PBS earlier than RNA extraction and quantitative analysis of SARS-CoV-2.

For the an infection experiments, CIPS (12 pM) was pre-incubated with genuine SARS-CoV-2 virus (2.4 × 104 TCID50) for two h. Macrophages have been uncovered to SARS-CoV-2 (pre-incubated or not with CIPS as described above) for 4 h, washed twice with PBS and cultured in recent medium with or with out BM (100 nM) for a further 48 h. The supernatants have been collected and the presence of SARS-CoV-2 was quantitatively analysed by rtPCR utilizing a business COVID-19 detection equipment (DaAn Gene), focusing on the nucleocapsid protein and ORF1ab.

Protein constructions utilized in MD simulations

The constructions of the complexes shaped between ACE2 and the RBD of SARS-CoV-2 (Protein Information Financial institution (PDB) ID: 6M17)45, the Alpha VOC (PDB ID: 7EKF)46, Delta VOC (PDB ID: 7WBQ)47, Beta VOC (PDB ID: 7EKG)46, Omicron VOC (PDB ID: 7WBP)47 and the SARS-CoV-2 spike complexed with neutralizing monoclonal antibody P5A-1B8_2B (PDB ID: 7CZR)48 have been obtained from the Analysis Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics PDB ( The crystal constructions of the RBD complexes with ACE2 characteristic within the following figures: 6M17 in Figs. 3h, 4a and 6, Supplementary Figs. 11 and 13, and Prolonged Information Figs. 4 and 5; 7EKF in Fig. 4a and Prolonged Information Fig. 5; 7WBQ in Fig. 4a and Prolonged Information Fig. 5; 7EKG and 7EKC in Fig. 4a and Prolonged Information Fig. 5; 7WBP in Fig. 4a and Prolonged Information Figs. 5 and 6.

Statistical evaluation

The outcomes are offered as imply values of replicate experiments or replicate samples in a single consultant experiment, as indicated within the determine legends. Statistical significance was calculated by the two-tailed Pupil’s t-test for comparisons of two teams, and by one- or two-way ANOVA with Tukey’s or Sidak’s a number of comparisons check. Statistical evaluation was carried out utilizing GraphPad Prism and P < 0.05 was thought-about statistically important.

Reporting abstract

Additional data on analysis design is accessible within the Nature Analysis Reporting Abstract linked to this text.



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