Arias-Arias, Jorge L., et al. “Stable production of recombinant SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain in mammalian cells with co-expression of a fluorescent reporter and its validation as antigenic target for COVID-19 serology testing.” Biotechnology Reports 37 (2023): e00780. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.btre.2022.e00780
SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) recognizes the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor in host cells that enables infection. Due to its antigenic specificity, RBD production is important for development of serological assays. Here we have established a system for stable RBD production in HEK 293T mammalian cells that simultaneously express the recombinant fluorescent protein dTomato, which enables kinetic monitoring of RBD expression by fluorescence microscopy. In addition, we have validated the use of this recombinant RBD in an ELISA assay for the detection of anti-RBD antibodies in serum samples of COVID-19 convalescent patients. Recombinant RBD generated using this approach can be useful for generation of antibody-based therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2, as well serological assays aimed to test antibody responses to this relevant virus.