Molecular Aspects concerning the Use of the SARS-CoV-2 Receptor Binding Domain as a Target for Preventive Vaccines

Yury Valdes-Balbin, Darielys Santana-Mederos, Françoise Paquet, Sonsire Fernandez, Yanet Climent, Fabrizio Chiodo, Laura Rodríguez, Belinda Sanchez Ramirez, Kalet Leon, Tays Hernandez, Lila Castellanos-Serra, Raine Garrido, Guang Wu Chen, Dagmar Garcia-Rivera, Daniel G. Rivera, Vicente Verez-Bencomo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


The development of recombinant COVID-19 vaccines has resulted from scientific progress made at an unprecedented speed during 2020. The recombinant spike glycoprotein monomer, its trimer, and its recombinant receptor-binding domain (RBD) induce a potent anti-RBD neutralizing antibody response in animals. In COVID-19 convalescent sera, there is a good correlation between the antibody response and potent neutralization. In this review, we summarize with a critical view the molecular aspects associated with the interaction of SARS-CoV-2 RBD with its receptor in human cells, the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the epitopes involved in the neutralizing activity, and the impact of virus mutations thereof. Recent trends in RBD-based vaccines are analyzed, providing detailed insights into the role of antigen display and multivalence in the immune response of vaccines under development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-767
Number of pages11
JournalACS central science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2021

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