FabRICATOR used to Locate Modification Sites of IgG Caused by Reducing Agents

A charge heterogeneity is an unfavorable phenomenon observed for mAbs and is considered as a critical quality attribute since it can alter the efficacy and pharmacokinetics of biopharmaceuticals. Acidic and basic species of an IgG are due to various chemical modifications on the molecule. The origin of acidic species has previously been reported to be formed by deamidation, oxidation of side-chains, cysteinylation, glycosylation, glycation, sialylation and fragmentation while the basic species comes from C-terminal lysine clipping, pyro-glu cyclization, succinimide formation and aggregation. Scientists at Boehringer Ingelheim together with scientists at NMI at University of Tübingen recently published a study characterizing the root cause of charged species of an IgG1 mAb.

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C-terminal lysine clipping and Fc receptor binding using SmartEnzymes

February 19, 2021 | References |

Researchers at LFB Biotechnologies in Paris, France have carried out a thorough analysis and characterization of the impact of C-terminal lysine clipping to Fc-receptor binding using a range of SmartEnzymes from Genovis.


The scientists separated an IgG1 antibody using SCX separation and purified the fractions without C-terminal lysines K0, with 1 C-terminal lysine K1 and with both lysines intact K2. The purified fractions were characterized for any further differences using FabRICATOR digestion and middle-level analysis. This approached enabled the researchers to study multiple post-translational modifications such as charge variants, oxidations and Fc glycosylation in a simple and robust way. The characterization revealed that the lysine heterogeneity was the main differentiator and all other PTMs were distributed between the fractions.
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SmartEnzymes in Targeted Sequencing of Heavily Glycosylated IgA1

The use of IgG-based antibodies in various clinical fields have increased over that past decades, continuing the development of better biopharmaceuticals. The use of other immunoglobulins including IgA, characterized with the ability to recruit effector cells, is progressively being considered a useful alternative. The complexity of the heavily glycosylated IgA does however pose analytical challenges and no method currently exist that allows unraveling of the human repertoire of this subclass.


Scientists at Utrecht University present a mass spectrometry method using electron capture dissociation (EDC) to obtain sequence ladders of the variable regions on the heavily N- and O-glycosylated anti-CD20 IgA1 antibody. Using SmartEnzymes and a native top-down approach, the scientists compared the IgA1 antibody to its anti-CD20 IgG counterpart, and their Fabs.

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Antibodies Conjugated with GlyCLICK for Super Resolution Imaging

Super resolution microscopy techniques such as stimulated emission depletion microscopy (STED) improves imaging resolution compared to conventional light microscopy. In STED microscopy, super resolution is achieved using photoactivatable dyes that are excited and de-excited selectively with a laser to restrict fluorescense to a specific focal point. While such super resolution methods in combination with immunostaining advances the quality of imaging, limitations related to dyes and conjugation strategies remain. Read more »

Charge Heterogeneity Analysis of Antibody Subunits Generated by FragIT

Charge heterogeneity of monoclonal antibodies is an important critical quality attribute that requires close monitoring due to its potential impact on antibody efficacy and immunogenicity. Since the heterogeneity is mostly caused by post translational modifications such as C-terminal lysine clipping, deamidation, glycation, sialic acid or adduct formation, these modifications can pose significant challenges to the analytical scientists. Read more »

Generating Antibody Mimetics with GingisKHAN

Antibodies formulated as solid-state depots can potentially be used for local treatments and minimize the need for large systemic doses. Bevacizumab may for instance be administered locally to control post-operative scarring following glaucoma filtration surgery. A solid-state form would however be required in order to obtain a proper slow release of the antibody. Read more »

Antibody Mixtures Digested using GingisREX

The formulation of antibodies in mixtures has revealed significant clinical advantages but causes increased analytical challenges. Long-term studies of formulated antibody mixtures over time are both difficult and time consuming. An example of a post-translational modification that could occur during storage is the oxidation of tyrosine that may induce conformational changes of an antibody. Read more »

SmartEnzymes in de novo Sequencing of Antibodies

Two complementary determining regions (CDR3) are considered major determinants of antigen-binding specificity that give rise to the human immunoglobulin repertoire with billions of unique antibodies. For de novo sequencing of the human repertoire, circulating antibodies can be analyzed by mass spectrometry after proteolytic cleavage. Complex mixtures such as plasma derived samples are however challenging to analyze due to the increased complexity that may prevent accurate assignments. Read more »

FabRICATOR in Efficient Structural Characterization of mAbs

In contrast to small generic molecules, therapuetic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) exhibit inherent heterogeneity that may arise during production and formulation or due to the storage conditions. Therefore, it is essential to characterize the structural heterogeneity of mAbs with respect to properties including conformational changes, aggregation and post-translational modifications. In this work, Zhu et al. at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College present an integration strategy for structural characterization of mAbs by combining intact mass and middle-down analysis using only a high-resolution Q-TOF mass spectrometer. Read more »

FabULOUS Middle-Level Analysis of Murine Polyclonal Antibodies

Important advances in top-down and middle-level analytical LC-MS strategies have arisen in recent years, focused on the characterization of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. Similar strategies to analyze polyclonal IgG in regard to subclass abundance and glycosylation patterns may provide new insight into immune regulatory processes. However, challenges associated with molecular heterogeneity due to inherent sequence variability of such samples persist. Read more »