Evaluation of a glycoengineered monoclonal antibody via LC-MS analysis in combination with multiple enzymatic digestion

Renpeng LiuEllen P Guthrie


Glycosylation affects the efficacy, safety and pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics properties of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), and glycoengineering is now being used to produce mAbs with improved efficacy. In this work, a glycoengineered version of rituximab was produced by chemoenzymatic modification to generate human-like N-glycosylation with α 2,6 linked sialic acid. This modified rituximab was comprehensively characterized by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and compared to commercially available rituximab. As anticipated, the majority of N-glycans were converted to α 2,6 linked sialic acid, in contrast to CHO-produced rituximab, which only contains α 2,3 linked sialic acid. Typical posttranslational modifications, such as pyro-glutamic acid formation at the N-terminus, oxidation at methionine, deamidation at asparagine, and disulfide linkages were also characterized in both the commercial and glycoengineered mAbs using multiple enzymatic digestion and mass spectrometric analysis. The comparative study reveals that the glycoengineering approach does not cause any additional posttranslational modifications in the antibody except the specific transformation of the glycoforms, demonstrating the mildness and ef...Continue Reading


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