National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training, Foster Avenue, Mount Merrion, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, A94 X099, Ireland; School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, D04 V1W8, Ireland. Electronic address: [Email]
Comparative glycosylation analysis of biopharmaceuticals requires the development of methods that deliver the necessary throughput, support structural elucidation and relative quantitation of glycans released from therapeutics. The current study presents the development and applicability assessment of a twoplex approach using light and heavy isotopolouges of 3-aminobenzenesulfonic acid (3-ASA) under wet labeling conditions followed by UHPLC-MS analysis in data dependent acquisition mode. Excellent labelling efficiency, >90%, was achieved for both the light and heavy variants of the reagent. Glycan distributions of two human IgG lots labeled by light and heavy isotopolouges were identical, demonstrating no labeling bias introduced by either of the isotopologues. Peak area distributions of glycan profiles of two human IgG lots were compared to 2-aminobenzamide (2-AB) and RapiFluor-MS protocols. The comparison led to identical results in peak area distribution across the three dyes, but differences in chromatographic selectivity attributed to the different tags. MS1 based relative quantitation was further validated by releasing glycans from the same lot of human IgG, with glycan pools obtained labeled with light and heavy isotopologues separately, followed by mixing and clean-up of the same amount of light and heavy labeled glycan pools. MS analyses of each glycan resulted in a ratio of light and heavy XIC in the range of 0.97 ≤ x ≤ 1.05, demonstrating the method is amenable for the relative quantitation of glycans. Excellent correlation between the relative quantitation data of N-glycans from two human IgG N-glycan pools using the twoplex approach and ratios from peak area distribution calculated from the fluorescent chromatogram was observed (r = 0.986), further corroborating the reliability of the method and its potential applicability in the biopharmaceutical industry. Highly informative HCD-MS2 spectra dominated mostly by Y- and Z-type single and double glycosidic fragment ions facilitate structural interpretation of the oligosaccharides.