Miltenyi Biotec launches new tool for coronavirus-specific T cell research

Specially developed research-grade PepTivator® Peptide Pools for SARS-CoV-2

BERGISCH GLADBACH, April 01, 2020 – Miltenyi Biotec today launches the SARS-CoV-2 PepTivator Peptide Pools, a new addition to its popular PepTivator Portfolio specifically developed to help researchers currently investigating COVID-19. Based on decades worth of experience in developing products for virus-specific T cell research, SARS-CoV-2 PepTivator Peptide Pools work by stimulating T cells specific to the novel virus, which allows subsequent detection, isolation, and further downstream research. Three different peptide pools will be available, each covering the sequence of one SARS CoV 2 protein: the spike glycoprotein, nucleocapsid phosphoprotein, and membrane glycoprotein.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is rapidly spreading, causing high numbers of the respiratory illness COVID-19 around the globe. The scientific community is working at full speed to understand and fight it, whether by treating infected individuals or developing new vaccines to prevent its proliferation. 

“Rapidly yet meticulously developed in response to the unfolding crisis, the SARS-CoV-2 PepTivator Peptide Pools cover the sequence of major SARS-CoV-2 proteins,” explains Dr. Olaf Brauns, group leader in the R&D peptides department at Miltenyi Biotec. “Miltenyi Biotec is committed to assisting researchers in getting to the bottom of COVID-19, and we’re proud to be able to add this new tool to our existing portfolio of instruments, reagents, and other scientific resources to further this endeavor.” 

PepTivator Peptide Pools consist of mainly 15-mer amino acid chains, usually spanning the complete sequence of a particular virus-, tumor-, or auto-antigen with 11-aminoacid overlaps (exception: PepTivator SARS-CoV-2 Prot_S covers the immunodominant sequence domains of the SARS-CoV-2 S protein). They bind to MHC class I as well as MHC class II complexes and thus are suitable for the antigen-specific stimulation of CD4 and CD8 T cells. All PepTivator SARS-CoV-2 products are currently available in research-grade quality and in two sizes: 6 nmol and 60 nmol per peptide per vial. The smaller size is sufficient to stimulate up to 10⁸ cells, whilst the larger is sufficient to stimulate up to 10⁹ cells. 

PepTivator SARS- CoV-2 Prot_S 
This product stimulates T cells specific for the surface or spike glycoprotein, which plays a critical role in coronavirus infection. The S protein is responsible for recognizing and binding to the ACE2 protein on the host cell surface, thus allowing the viral envelope to fuse with the host cell membrane and the viral genome to enter the host cell. It is considered a potential key target for vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostic approaches1

The PepTivator SARS-CoV-2 Prot_S covers the immunodominant sequence domains of the SARS-CoV-2 S protein (GenBank MN908947.3, Protein QHD43416.1). 

PepTivator SARS-CoV-2 Prot_N 
The PepTivator SARS-CoV-2 Prot_N stimulates T cells specific for the nucleocapsid phosphoprotein (N), which has multiple functions in the coronavirus replication cycle. Its primary function is viral genome packaging, though it is also involved in virus transcription and interacts with the viral membrane during virion assembly. It has been suggested as a possible target for vaccine development2.  

The PepTivator SARS-CoV-2 Prot_N covers the complete sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 N protein (GenBank MN908947.3, Protein QHD43423.2). 

PepTivator SARS-CoV-2 Prot_M 
Prot_M stands for membrane glycoprotein (M). The M protein is the most abundant structural protein in the coronavirus envelope and thus defines viral morphogenesis. Crucial for efficient virion assembly and involved in viral budding, the M protein has been suggested as a possible target for vaccine development3

The PepTivator SARS-CoV-2 Prot_M covers the complete sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 M protein (GenBank MN908947.3, Protein QHD43419.1). 

An overview of the SARS-CoV-2 PepTivator Peptide Pools and how virus-specific PepTivator Peptide Pools have been used in the past can be found at 

Media Contact:  
Miltenyi Biotec B.V. & Co. KG  
James Hafseth