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  • Comprehensive characterization of monoclonal antibody by Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry.

Comprehensive characterization of monoclonal antibody by Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry.

mAbs (2018-09-20)
Yutong Jin, Ziqing Lin, Qingge Xu, Cexiong Fu, Zhaorui Zhang, Qunying Zhang, Wayne A Pritts, Ying Ge
ABSTRACT

The pharmaceutical industry's interest in monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and their derivatives has spurred rapid growth in the commercial and clinical pipeline of these effective therapeutics. The complex micro-heterogeneity of mAbs requires in-depth structural characterization for critical quality attribute assessment and quality assurance. Currently, mass spectrometry (MS)-based methods are the gold standard in mAb analysis, primarily with a bottom-up approach in which immunoglobulins G (IgGs) and their variants are digested into peptides to facilitate the analysis. Comprehensive characterization of IgGs and the micro-variants remains challenging at the proteoform level. Here, we used both top-down and middle-down MS for in-depth characterization of a human IgG1 using ultra-high resolution Fourier transform MS. Our top-down MS analysis provided characteristic fingerprinting of the IgG1 proteoforms at unit mass resolution. Subsequently, the tandem MS analysis of intact IgG1 enabled the detailed sequence characterization of a representative IgG1 proteoform at the intact protein level. Moreover, we used the middle-down MS analysis to characterize the primary glycoforms and micro-variants. Micro-variants such as low-abundance glycoforms, C-terminal glycine clipping, and C-terminal proline amidation were characterized with bond cleavages higher than 44% at the subunit level. By combining top-down and middle-down analysis, 76% of bond cleavage (509/666 amino acid bond cleaved) of IgG1 was achieved. Taken together, we demonstrated the combination of top-down and middle-down MS as powerful tools in the comprehensive characterization of mAbs.

MATERIALS
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Sigma-Aldrich
SILuLite SigmaMAb Universal Antibody Standard human