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J Chromatogr A. 2015 Apr 3;1388:184-94. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2015.02.047. Epub 2015 Feb 21.

Unfolding and aggregation of monoclonal antibodies on cation exchange columns: effects of resin type, load buffer, and protein stability.

Author information

1
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA.
2
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA. Electronic address: gc@virginia.edu.

Abstract

The chromatographic behavior of a monoclonal antibody (mAb) that exhibits a pronounced two-peak elution behavior is studied for a range of strong cation exchange resins and with varying load buffer pH and composition. Six stationary phases are considered, including two tentacle-type resins (Fractogel EMD SO3-(M) and Eshmuno S), a resin with grafted polymeric surface extenders (Nuvia S), a resin with a bimodal pore size distribution (POROS HS 50), and two macroporous resins without polymer grafts (Source 30S and UNOsphere Rapid S). The two-peak elution behavior is very pronounced for the tentacle and polymer-grafted resins and for POROS HS 50, but is essentially absent for the two macroporous resins. The extent of this behavior decreases as the buffer pH and concentration increase and, consequently, mAb binding becomes weaker. Replacing sodium with arginine as the buffer counterion, which is expected to decrease the mAb binding strength, nearly completely eliminates the two-peak behavior, while replacing sodium with tetra-n-butylammonium hydroxide, which is expected to increase the mAb binding strength, dramatically exacerbate the effect. As shown by hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HX-MS), the two-peak elution behavior is related to conformational changes that occur when the mAb binds. These changes result in increased solvent exposure of specific peptides in the Fc-region for either the Fractogel or the Nuvia resin. No significant conformational changes were seen by HX-MS when the mAb was bound to the UNOsphere resin or on the Fractogel resin when arginine was used in lieu of sodium as the load buffer counterion. Experiments with two additional mAbs on the Fractogel resin show that the two-peak elution behavior is dependent on the particular antibody. Circular dichroism suggests that the propensity of different mAbs to either precipitate directly or to form stabilizing intermolecular structures upon exposure to thermal stress can be related to their chromatographic behaviors.

KEYWORDS:

Aggregation; Cation exchange; Circular dichroism; Hydrogen–deuterium exchange mass spectrometry; Monoclonal antibodies; Unfolding

PMID:
25739785
DOI:
10.1016/j.chroma.2015.02.047
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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