2022 AMI Online Salon

How Antibodies Neutralize SARS-CoV-2

Project Details

  • Entrant Name:  Jason Brady
  • Client: Fabian de Kok-Mercado, Sandra Gabelli
  • Copyright:  Jason Brady, 2021
  • Medium/software used: Pymol, Cinema4D, ePMV, Adobe Photoshop
  • Final presentation format: 2 page spread for peer reviewed journal article
  • Primary Audience: Microbiologists

Project Description

The goal of this illustration is to depict how an antibody binds to the N-terminal domain (NTD) of the spike protein of SARS CoV-2, which prevents the virus from binding to the ACE2 receptor of human cells. The intent of this illustration is to bring awareness to the neutralizing capabilities of these antibodies, so that therapeutics can be developed to target the NTD.A 2-page spread was utilized to tell the story. The first page illustrates how the spike protein binds with the ACE2 receptor, and the open and closed configurations of the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein are also shown. The second page introduces where the antibodies attach to the NTD as well as the positioning of the NTD relative to the RBD. When neutralized by the antibodies, the virus is unable to bind with the ACE2 receptor. To distinguish the different molecular components, human structures are represented with warmer colors while the viral structures are represented with cooler colors. Each trimer of the spike protein is identified with a slight difference in hue and value. On both pages, glows are used to link the binding interactions on the cellular landscape to the close up inset of the spike protein.