Statistical characterization of therapeutic protein modifications.
ABSTRACT: Peptide mapping with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) is an important analytical method for characterization of post-translational and chemical modifications in therapeutic proteins. Despite its importance, there is currently no consensus on the statistical analysis of the resulting data. In this manuscript, we distinguish three statistical goals for therapeutic protein characterization: (1) estimation of site occupancy of modifications in one condition, (2) detection of differential site occupancy between conditions, and (3) estimation of combined site occupancy across multiple modification sites. We propose an approach, which addresses these goals in terms of summarizing the quantitative information from the mass spectra, statistical modeling, and model-based analysis of LC-MS/MS data. We illustrate the approach using an LC-MS/MS experiment from an antibody-drug conjugate and its monoclonal antibody intermediate. The performance was compared to a 'naïve' data analysis approach, by using computer simulation, evaluation of differential site occupancy in positive and negative controls, and comparisons of estimated site occupancy with orthogonal experimental measurements of N-linked glycoforms and total oxidation. The results demonstrated the importance of replicated studies of protein characterization, and of appropriate statistical modeling, for reproducible, accurate and efficient site occupancy estimation and differential analysis.
Project description:Site-specific analysis of protein glycosylation is important for biochemical and clinical research efforts. Glycopeptide analysis using liquid chromatography-collision-induced dissociation/electron transfer dissociation mass spectrometry (LC-CID/ETD-MS) allows simultaneous characterization of the glycan structure and attached peptide site. However, due to the low ionization efficiency of glycopeptides during electrospray ionization, 200-500 fmol of sample per injection is needed for a single LC-MS run, which makes it challenging for the analysis of limited amounts of glycoprotein purified from biological matrixes. To improve the sensitivity of LC-MS analysis for glycopeptides, an ultranarrow porous layer open tubular (PLOT) LC column (2.5 m × 10 ?m i.d.) was coupled to a linear ion trap (LTQ) collision-induced dissociation/electron transfer dissociation mass spectrometer to provide sensitive analysis of N-linked protein glycosylation heterogeneity. The potential of the developed method is demonstrated by the characterization of site-specific glycosylation using haptoglobin (Hpt) as a model protein. To limit the amount of haptoglobin to low picomole amounts of protein, we affinity purified it from 1 ?L of pooled lung cancer patient plasma. A total of 26 glycoforms/glycan compositions on three Hpt tryptic glycopeptides were identified and quantified from 10 LC-MS runs with a consumption of 100 fmol of Hpt digest (13 ng of protein, 10 fmol per injection). Included in this analysis was the determination of the glycan occupancy level. At this sample consumption level, the high sensitivity of the PLOT LC-LTQ-CID/ETD-MS system allowed glycopeptide identification and structure determination, along with relative quantitation of glycans presented on the same peptide backbone, even for low abundant glycopeptides at the ?100 amol level. The PLOT LC-MS system is shown to have sufficient sensitivity to allow characterization of site-specific protein glycosylation from trace levels of glycosylated proteins.
Project description:Site occupancy measurements using liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) are reported throughout the literature. However, site occupancy quantification suffers from ionization bias between modified and unmodified peptides containing the active site. In this study, we explore the MS signal as a function of nonpolar surface area (NPSA) in order to better understand this bias in electrospray response. The correlation between hydrophobicity and LC/MS response was evaluated and applied to study enzyme intermediates in polyketide synthases.Site occupancy methods were developed to study acyltransferase activity. To further evaluate these methods, several standard peptides containing one cysteine residue were modified with alkylation reagents of increasing hydrophobicity to study the MS signal as a function of NPSA.A consistent trend in MS response was observed which is dependent on the NPSA of the analyte. An optimal NPSA zone was observed for the peptides studied.Nonpolar surface area can be used as metric to determine relative LC/MS response for peptides and evaluate site occupancy measurements.
Project description:Protein S-sulfinylation (R-SO2-) and S-sulfonylation (R-SO3-) are irreversible oxidative post-translational modifications of cysteine residues. Greater than 5% of cysteines are reported to occupy these higher oxidation states, which effectively inactivate the corresponding thiols and alter the electronic and physical properties of modified proteins. Such higher oxidation states are reached after excessive exposure to cellular oxidants, and accumulate across different disease states. Despite widespread and functionally relevant cysteine oxidation across the proteome, there are currently no robust methods to profile higher order cysteine oxidation. Traditional data-dependent liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) methods generally miss low-occupancy modifications in complex analyses. Here, we present a data-independent acquisition (DIA) LC/MS-based approach, leveraging the high IR absorbance of sulfoxides at 10.6 ?m, for selective dissociation and discovery of S-sulfonated peptides. Across peptide standards and protein digests, we demonstrate selective infrared multiphoton dissociation (IRMPD) of S-sulfonated peptides in the background of unmodified peptides. This selective DIA IRMPD LC/MS-based approach allows identification and annotation of S-sulfonated peptides across complex mixtures while providing sufficient sequence information to localize the modification site.
Project description:We present a novel data analysis strategy which combined with subcellular fractionation and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) based proteomics provides a simple and effective workflow for global drug profiling. Five subcellular fractions were obtained by differential centrifugation followed by high resolution LC-MS and complete functional regulation analysis. The methodology combines functional regulation and enrichment analysis into a single visual summary. The workflow enables improved insight into perturbations caused by drugs. We provide a statistical argument to demonstrate that even crude subcellular fractions leads to improved functional characterization. We demonstrate this data analysis strategy on data obtained in a MS-based global drug profiling study. However, this strategy can also be performed on other types of large scale biological data.
Project description:Glycosylation is a common PTM of plant proteins that impacts a large number of important biological processes. Nevertheless, the impacts of differential site occupancy and the nature of specific glycoforms are obscure. Historically, characterization of glycoproteins has been difficult due to the distinct physicochemical properties of the peptidyl and glycan moieties, the variable and dynamic nature of the glycosylation process, their heterogeneous nature, and the low relative abundance of each glycoform. In this study, we explore a new pipeline developed for large-scale empirical identification of N-linked glycoproteins of tomato fruit as part of our ongoing efforts to characterize the tomato secretome. The workflow presented involves a combination of lectin affinity, tryptic digestion, ion-pairing HILIC, and precursor ion-driven data-dependent MS/MS analysis with a script to facilitate the identification and characterization of occupied N-linked glycosylation sites. A total of 212 glycoproteins were identified in this study, in which 26 glycopeptides from 24 glycoproteins were successfully characterized in just one HILIC fraction. Further precursor ion discovery-based MS/MS and deglycosylation followed by high accuracy and resolution MS analysis were used to confirm the glycosylation sites and determine site occupancy rates. The workflow reported is robust and capable of producing large amounts of empirical data involving N-linked glycosylation sites and their associated glycoforms.
Project description:Human plasma von Willebrand Factor (VWF) plays essential roles in primary hemostasis in cooperation with other coagulations factors. There is ample indication that glycosylation affects many biological phases during the protein life cycle. However, comprehensive characterization of all probable N-glycosites simultaneous with O-glycosites is still not fully revealed. Thus, the intention of this exploration was to estimate the occupancy of all canonical N-glycosites besides simultaneous characterization of N- and O-glycoforms. An RP-LC-MS/MS system functionalized with CID and HCD tandem mass was utilized to analyze VWF. N-Glycosite occupancy varied along the protein backbone chain. Out of 257 HCD spectra, 181 characterized glycoforms were specified as either N- or O-glycosites. Sequential cleavage of glycosidic bonds along with Human Database mass matching have confirmed the glycoform structures. A total of 173 glycoforms represented most commonly biantennary and infrequently tri- and tetra-antennary N-glycans beside high mannose, hybrid, ABH antigen-terminated, and sulfated N-glycans. Many glycoforms were common across all N-sites. Noteworthy, previously unreported N-glycosites within domain D'(TIL'-E') showed glycosylation. Moreover, sialylated core 1 and core 2 O-glycans were detected on 2298T. Given subtle characterization of site-specific glycoforms, we can attain a profound understanding of the biological roles of VWF as well as facilitate the production of VWF-based therapeutics.
Project description:Post-translational modifications (PTMs) of core histones work synergistically to fine tune chromatin structure and function, generating a so-called histone code that can be interpreted by a variety of chromatin interacting proteins. We report a novel online two-dimensional liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (2D LC-MS/MS) platform for high-throughput and sensitive characterization of histone PTMs at the intact protein level. The platform enables unambiguous identification of 708 histone isoforms from a single 2D LC-MS/MS analysis of 7.5 µg purified core histones. The throughput and sensitivity of comprehensive histone modification characterization is dramatically improved compared with more traditional platforms.
Project description:Regulatory approval for a biosimilar product is provided on the basis of its comparability to an originator product. A thorough physicochemical and functional comparability exercise is a key element in demonstrating biosimilarity. Here we report the characterization of a proposed biosimilar rituximab (GP2013) and originator rituximab.To compare GP2013 with originator rituximab using an extensive array of routine analytical and extended characterization methods.Primary and higher order protein structures were analyzed using a variety of methods that included high-performance liquid chromatography electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (HPLC-ESI-MS), peptide mapping with UV and MS detection, circular dichroism (CD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, hydrogen deuterium exchange (HDX) MS, 1D (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Charge and amino acid modifications were assessed using cation exchange chromatography (CEX) and peptide mapping using reversed-phase (RP) HPLC. Boronate affinity chromatography was used to determine the relative amount of glycation. Glycans were identified and quantified after 2-aminobenzamide (2-AB) labeling and separation using normal phase HPLC with fluorescence and MS detection, respectively. Glycan site occupancy was determined using reducing capillary electrophoresis with sodium dodecyl sulfate (CE-SDS). Size heterogeneity was determined using reducing and non-reducing CE-SDS, size exclusion chromatography (SEC) and asymmetric flow field flow fractionation (AF4). Biological characterization included a series of bioassays (in vitro target binding, antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity [ADCC], complement-dependent cytotoxicity [CDC] and apoptosis) and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) Fc receptor binding assays.Intact mass analysis of GP2013 and the heavy and light chains using RP HPLC-ESI-MS revealed the expected molecular mass of rituximab. The amino acid sequence was shown to be identical between GP2013 and the originator rituximab. Further sequence confirmation using RP-HPLC-UV/MS peptide mapping showed non-distinguishable chromatograms for Lys-C digested GP2013 and originator rituximab. The higher order structure of GP2013 was shown to be indistinguishable from originator rituximab using a large panel of redundant and orthogonal methods. GP2013 and originator rituximab were comparable with regard to charge variants, specific amino acid modifications and the glycan pattern. GP2013 was also shown to have similar purity, aggregate and particle levels when compared with the originator. Functionally, and by using a comprehensive set of bioassays and binding assays covering a broad range of rituximab's functional activities, GP2013 could not be distinguished from originator rituximab.GP2013 was shown to be physicochemically highly similar to originator rituximab at the level of primary and higher order structure, post-translational modifications and size variants. An extensive functional characterization package indicated that GP2013 has the same biological properties as originator rituximab.
Project description:Mitochondrial dysfunction is one of many key factors in the etiology of alcoholic liver disease (ALD). Lysine acetylation is known to regulate numerous mitochondrial metabolic pathways, and recent reports demonstrate that alcohol-induced protein acylation negatively impacts these processes. To identify regulatory mechanisms attributed to alcohol-induced protein post-translational modifications, we employed a model of alcohol consumption within the context of wild type (WT), sirtuin 3 knockout (SIRT3 KO), and sirtuin 5 knockout (SIRT5 KO) mice to manipulate hepatic mitochondrial protein acylation. Mitochondrial fractions were examined by label-free quantitative HPLC-MS/MS to reveal competition between lysine acetylation and succinylation. A class of proteins defined as "differential acyl switching proteins" demonstrate select sensitivity to alcohol-induced protein acylation. A number of these proteins reveal saturated lysine-site occupancy, suggesting a significant level of differential stoichiometry in the setting of ethanol consumption. We hypothesize that ethanol downregulates numerous mitochondrial metabolic pathways through differential acyl switching proteins. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD012089.
Project description:The use of liquid chromatography--mass spectrometry (LC-MS) for the characterization of proteins can provide a plethora of information related to their structure, including amino acid sequence determination and analysis of posttranslational modifications. The variety of LC-MS based applications has led to the use of LC-MS characterization of therapeutic proteins and monoclonal antibodies as an integral part of the regulatory approval process. However, the improper use of an LC-MS system, related to intrinsic instrument limitations, improper tuning parameters, or poorly optimized methods may result in the production of low quality data. Improper system performance may arise from subtle changes in operating conditions that limit the ability to detect low abundance species. To address this issue, we systematically evaluated LC-MS/MS operating parameters to identify a set of metrics that can be used in a workflow to determine if a system is suitable for its intended purpose. Development of this workflow utilized a bovine serum albumin (BSA) digest standard spiked with synthetic peptides present at 0.1% to 100% of the BSA digest peptide concentration to simulate the detection of low abundance species using a traditional bottom-up workflow and data-dependent MS(2) acquisition. BSA sequence coverage, a commonly used indicator for instrument performance did not effectively identify settings that led to limited dynamic range or poorer absolute mass accuracy on 2 separate LC-MS systems. Additional metrics focusing on the detection limit and sensitivity for peptide identification were determined to be necessary to establish system suitability for protein therapeutic characterization by LC-MS.