Effective Amino Acid Sequencing of Intact Filgrastim by Multimodal Mass Spectrometry with Topdownr
- Maša Babović ,
- Pavel V. Shliaha ,
- Sebastian Gibb , and
- Ole N. Jensen*
Therapeutic proteins, known as biologicals, are an important and growing class of drugs for treatment of a series of human ailments. Amino acid sequence variants of therapeutic proteins can affect their safety and efficacy. Top-down mass spectrometry is well suited for the sequence analysis of intact therapeutic proteins. Fine-tuning of tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) fragmentation conditions is essential for maximizing the amino acid sequence coverage but is often time-consuming. We used topdownr, an automated and integrated multimodal approach to systematically assess high mass accuracy MS/MS fragmentation parameters to characterize filgrastim, a 19 kDa recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor used in treating neutropenia. A total of 276 different MS/MS conditions were systematically tested, including the following parameters: protein charge state, HCD and CID collision energy, ETD reaction time, ETD supplemental activation, and UVPD activation time. Stringent and accurate evaluation and annotation of the MS/MS data was achieved by requiring a fragment ion mass error of 5 ppm, considering reproducible N- and C-terminal fragment ions only, and excluding internal fragment ion assignments. We report the first EThcD and UVPD MS/MS analysis of intact filgrastim, and these two techniques combined resulted in 98% amino acid sequence coverage. By combining all tested fragmentation modes, we obtained near-complete amino acid sequence coverage (99.4%) of intact filgrastim.
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