Enrichment and Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Analysis of Trastuzumab and Pertuzumab Using Affimer Reagents

Oladapo Olaleye, Baubek Spanov, Robert Ford, Natalia Govorukhina, Nico C van de Merbel, Rainer Bischoff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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Trastuzumab and pertuzumab are monoclonal antibodies used in the treatment of human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer. Therapeutic proteins may undergo chemical modifications that may affect the results of bioanalytical assays, as well as their therapeutic efficacy. Modifications may arise during production and storage, as well as after administration to patients. Studying in vivo biotransformation of monoclonal, therapeutic antibodies requires their enrichment from plasma to discriminate them from endogenous antibodies, as well as from other plasma proteins. To this end, we screened Affimer reagents for selectivity toward trastuzumab or pertuzumab. Affimer reagents are alternative binding proteins possessing two variable binding loops that are based on the human protease inhibitor stefin A or phytocystatin protein scaffolds. Affimer reagents were selected from an extensive library by phage display. The four best-performing binders for each therapeutic antibody were prioritized using a microtiter plate-based approach combined with liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) in the selected reaction monitoring (SRM) mode. These Affimer reagents were immobilized via engineered 6-His or Cys tags to Ni2+- or maleimide beads, respectively. Recovery values of 70% and higher were obtained for both trastuzumab and pertuzumab when spiked at 100, 150, and 200 μg/mL concentrations in human plasma followed by trypsin digestion in the presence of 0.5% sodium deoxycholate and 10 mM dithiothreitol (DTT). Notably, the maleimide beads showed undetectable unspecific binding to endogenous immunoglobulin G (IgGs) or other plasma proteins when analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). The enrichment method was applied to samples from stress tests of the antibodies at 37 °C to mimic in vivo conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13597–13605
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number40
Early online date28-Sept-2021
Publication statusPublished - 12-Oct-2021

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