Investigating native capillary zone electrophoresis-mass spectrometry on a high-end quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometer for the characterization of monoclonal antibodies

Xiaojing Shen, Zhijie Liang, Tian Xu, Zhichang Yang, Qianjie Wang, Daoyang Chen, Lucynda Pham, Wenjun Du, Liangliang Sun

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7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Native capillary zone electrophoresis-mass spectrometry (CZE-MS) has attracted attentions for the characterization of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) due to the potential of CZE for highly efficient separations of mAbs under native conditions as well as its compatibility with native electrospray ionization (ESI)-MS. However, the low sample loading capacity and limited separation resolution of native CZE for large proteins and protein complexes (e.g. mAbs) impede the widespread adoption of native CZE-MS. Here, we present a novel native capillary isoelectric focusing (cIEF)-assisted CZE-MS method for the characterization of mAbs with much larger sample loading capacity and significantly better separation resolution than native CZE-MS alone. The native cIEF-assisted CZE-MS employed separation capillaries with a new carbohydrate-based neutral coating, a commercilized electrokinetically pumped sheathflow CE-MS interface, and a high-end quadrupole-time-of-flight (Q-TOF) mass spectrometer. Using the method, we documented the separations of different proteoforms of the SigmaMAb and the detection of its various glyco-proteoforms and homodimer. The native cIEF-assisted CZE-MS separated the NIST mAb into three peaks with a submicroliter sample loading volume, corresponding to its different proteoforms. We observed that both the NIST mAb and its homodimer had eight glyco-proteoforms, four of which had low abundance. The results demonstrate the potential of our native cIEF-assisted CZE-MS method for advancing the characterization of large proteins and protein complexes under native conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116541
JournalInternational Journal of Mass Spectrometry
Volume462
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

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