Extending Native Top-Down Electron Capture Dissociation to MDa Immunoglobulin Complexes Provides Useful Sequence Tags Covering Their Critical Variable Complementarity-Determining Regions

Jean-Francois Greisch, Maurits A den Boer, Szu-Hsueh Lai, Kelly Gallagher, Albert Bondt, Jan Commandeur, Albert J R Heck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Native top-down mass spectrometry (MS) is gaining traction for the analysis and sequencing of intact proteins and protein assemblies, giving access to their mass and composition, as well as sequence information useful for identification. Herein, we extend and apply native top-down MS, using electron capture dissociation, to two submillion Da IgM- and IgG-based oligomeric immunoglobulins. Despite structural similarities, these two systems are quite different. The ∼895 kDa noncovalent IgG hexamer consists of six IgG subunits hexamerizing in solution due to three specifically engineered mutations in the Fc region, whereas the ∼935 kDa IgM oligomer results from the covalent assembly of one joining (J) chain and 5 IgM subunits into an asymmetric "pentamer" stabilized by interchain disulfide bridges. Notwithstanding their size, structural differences, and complexity, we observe that their top-down electron capture dissociation spectra are quite similar and straightforward to interpret, specifically providing informative sequence tags covering the highly variable CDR3s and FR4s of the Ig subunits they contain. Moreover, we show that the electron capture dissociation fragmentation spectra of immunoglobulin oligomers are essentially identical to those obtained for their respective monomers. Demonstrated for recombinantly produced systems, the approach described here opens up new prospects for the characterization and identification of IgMs circulating in plasma, which is important since IgMs play a critical role in the early immune response to pathogens such as viruses and bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16068-16075
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Volume93
Issue number48
Early online date23 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Complementarity Determining Regions
  • Electrons
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Proteins

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