Complex glycans decorate viral surface proteins and play a critical role in virus-host interactions. Viral surface glycans shield vulnerable protein epitopes from host immunity yet can also present distinct "glycoepitopes" that can be targeted by host antibodies such as the potent anti-HIV antibody 2G12 that binds high-mannose glycans on gp120. Two recent publications demonstrate 2G12 binding to high mannose glycans on SARS-CoV-2 and select Influenza A (Flu) H3N2 viruses. Previously, our lab observed 2G12 binding and functional inhibition of a range of Flu viruses that include H3N2 and H1N1 lineages. In this manuscript, we present these data alongside structural analyses to offer an expanded picture of 2G12-Flu interactions. Further, based on the remarkable breadth of 2G12 N-glycan recognition and the structural factors promoting glycoprotein oligomannosylation, we hypothesize that 2G12 glycoepitopes can be defined from protein structure alone according to N-glycan site topology. We develop a model describing 2G12 glycoepitopes based on N-glycan site topology, and apply the model to identify viruses within the Protein Data Bank presenting putative 2G12 glycoepitopes for 2G12 repurposing toward analytical, diagnostic, and therapeutic applications.
© 2022. The Author(s).