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Time Resolved Native Ion-Mobility Mass Spectrometry to Monitor Dynamics of IgG4 Fab Arm Exchange and “Bispecific” Monoclonal Antibody Formation

Debaene, François, Wagner-Rousset, Elsa, Colas, Olivier, Ayoub, Daniel, Corvaïa, Nathalie, Van Dorsselaer, Alain, Beck, Alain, Cianférani, Sarah
Analytical chemistry 2013 v.85 no.20 pp. 9785-9792
adhesion, antibody formation, antigen-antibody complex, antigens, biopharmaceuticals, chimerism, clinical trials, disulfide bonds, functional properties, humans, immunoglobulin G, integrins, markets, mass spectrometry, monitoring, monoclonal antibodies, therapeutics
Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and derivatives such as antibody–drug conjugates (ADC) and bispecific antibodies (bsAb), are the fastest growing class of human therapeutics. Most of the therapeutic antibodies currently on the market and in clinical trials are chimeric, humanized, and human immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1). An increasing number of IgG2s and IgG4s that have distinct structural and functional properties are also investigated to develop products that lack or have diminished antibody effector functions compared to IgG1. Importantly, wild type IgG4 has been shown to form half molecules (one heavy chain and one light chain) that lack interheavy chain disulfide bonds and form intrachain disulfide bonds. Moreover, IgG4 undergoes a process of Fab-arm exchange (FAE) in which the heavy chains of antibodies of different specificities can dissociate and recombine in bispecific antibodies both in vitro and in vivo. Here, native mass spectrometry (MS) and time-resolved traveling wave ion mobility MS (TWIM-MS) were used for the first time for online monitoring of FAE and bsAb formation using Hz6F4-2v3 and natalizumab, two humanized IgG4s which bind to human Junctional Adhesion Molecule-A (JAM-A) and alpha4 integrin, respectively. In addition, native MS analysis of bsAb/JAM-A immune complexes revealed that bsAb can bind up to two antigen molecules, confirming that the Hz6F4 family preferentially binds dimeric JAM-A. Our results illustrate how IM-MS can rapidly assess bsAb structural heterogeneity and be easily implemented into MS workflows for bsAb production follow up and bsAb/antigen complex characterization. Altogether, these results provide new MS-based methodologies for in-depth FAE and bsAb formation monitoring. Native MS and IM-MS will play an increasing role in next generation biopharmaceutical product characterization like bsAbs, antibody mixtures, and antibody–drug conjugates (ADC) as well as for biosimilar and biobetter antibodies.