on 10-04-201309:32 AM - edited on 10-15-202111:51 AM by AnalyteGuru
Rosati S, van den Bremer ET, Schuurman J, Parren PW, Kamerling JP, Heck AJ. MAbs. 2013 Aug 28;5(6). Here, we describe a fast, easy-to-use, and sensitive method to profile in-depth structural micro-heterogeneity, including intricate N-glycosylation profiles, of monoclonal antibodies at the native intact protein level by means of mass spectrometry using a recently introduced modified Orbitrap Exactive Plus mass spectrometer. We demonstrate the versatility of our method to probe structural micro-heterogeneity by describing the analysis of three types of molecules: (1) a non-covalently bound IgG4 hinge deleted full-antibody in equilibrium with its half-antibody, (2) IgG4 mutants exhibiting highly complex glycosylation profiles, and (3) antibody-drug conjugates. Using the modified instrument, we obtain baseline separation and accurate mass determination of all different proteoforms that may be induced, for example, by glycosylation, drug loading and partial peptide backbone-truncation. We show that our method can handle highly complex glycosylation profiles, identifying more than 20 different glycoforms per monoclonal antibody preparation and more than 30 proteoforms on a single highly purified antibody. In analyzing antibody-drug conjugates, our method also easily identifies and quantifies more than 15 structurally different proteoforms that may result from the collective differences in drug loading and glycosylation. The method presented here will aid in the comprehensive analytical and functional characterization of protein micro-heterogeneity, which is crucial for successful development and manufacturing of therapeutic antibodies.