Mapping the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein-derived peptidome presented by HLA class II on dendritic cells.
Parker R., Partridge T., Wormald C., Kawahara R., Stalls V., Aggelakopoulou M., Parker J., Doherty RP., Morejon YA., Lee E., Saunders K., Haynes BF., Acharya P., Thaysen-Andersen M., Borrow P., Ternette N.
Understanding and eliciting protective immune responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an urgent priority. To facilitate these objectives, we have profiled the repertoire of human leukocyte antigen class II (HLA-II)-bound peptides presented by HLA-DR diverse monocyte-derived dendritic cells pulsed with SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein. We identify 209 unique HLA-II-bound peptide sequences, many forming nested sets, which map to sites throughout S including glycosylated regions. Comparison of the glycosylation profile of the S protein to that of the HLA-II-bound S peptides revealed substantial trimming of glycan residues on the latter, likely introduced during antigen processing. Our data also highlight the receptor-binding motif in S1 as a HLA-DR-binding peptide-rich region. Results from this study have application in vaccine design, and will aid analysis of CD4+ T cell responses in infected individuals and vaccine recipients.