Computer-aided gradient optimization of hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatographic separations of intact proteins and protein glycoforms

Guusje van Schaick, Bob W.J. Pirok, Rob Haselberg, Govert W. Somsen, Andrea F.G. Gargano

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Protein glycosylation is one of the most common and critical post-translational modification, which results from covalent attachment of carbohydrates to protein backbones. Glycosylation affects the physicochemical properties of proteins and potentially their function. Therefore it is important to establish analytical methods which can resolve glycoforms of glycoproteins. Recently, hydrophilic-interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC)-mass spectrometry has demonstrated to be a useful tool for the efficient separation and characterization of intact protein glycoforms. In particular, amide-based stationary phases in combination with acetonitrile-water gradients containing ion-pairing agents, have been used for the characterization of glycoproteins. However, finding the optimum gradient conditions for glycoform resolution can be quite tedious as shallow gradients (small decrease of acetonitrile percentage in the elution solvent over a long time)are required. In the present study, the retention mechanism and peak capacity of HILIC for non-glycosylated and glycosylated proteins were investigated and compared to reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RPLC). For both LC modes, ln k vs. φ plots of a series of test proteins were calculated using linear solvent strength (LSS)analysis. For RPLC, the plots were spread over a wider φ range than for HILIC, suggesting that HILIC methods require shallower gradients to resolve intact proteins. Next, the usefulness of computer-aided method development for the optimization of the separation of intact glycoform by HILIC was examined. Five retention models including LSS, adsorption, and mixed-mode, were tested to describe and predict glycoprotein retention under gradient conditions. The adsorption model appeared most suited and was applied to the gradient prediction for the separation of the glycoforms of six glycoproteins (Ides-digested trastuzumab, alpha-acid glycoprotein, ovalbumin, fetuin and thyroglobulin)employing the program PIOTR. Based on the results of three scouting gradients, conditions for high-efficiency separations of protein glycoforms varying in the degree and complexity of glycosylation was achieved, thereby significantly reducing the time needed for method optimization.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Chromatography A
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

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Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
Liquid chromatography
Liquid Chromatography
Glycoproteins
Liquids
Glycosylation
Proteins
Reverse-Phase Chromatography
Adsorption
Fetuins
Thyroglobulin
Ovalbumin
Post Translational Protein Processing
Amides
Linear Models
Mass Spectrometry
Mass spectrometry
Carbohydrates
Ions
Acids

Keywords

  • Computer-aided method development
  • Glycoform separations
  • HILIC
  • Intact protein separation
  • Middle-up protein analysis

Cite this

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title = "Computer-aided gradient optimization of hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatographic separations of intact proteins and protein glycoforms",
abstract = "Protein glycosylation is one of the most common and critical post-translational modification, which results from covalent attachment of carbohydrates to protein backbones. Glycosylation affects the physicochemical properties of proteins and potentially their function. Therefore it is important to establish analytical methods which can resolve glycoforms of glycoproteins. Recently, hydrophilic-interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC)-mass spectrometry has demonstrated to be a useful tool for the efficient separation and characterization of intact protein glycoforms. In particular, amide-based stationary phases in combination with acetonitrile-water gradients containing ion-pairing agents, have been used for the characterization of glycoproteins. However, finding the optimum gradient conditions for glycoform resolution can be quite tedious as shallow gradients (small decrease of acetonitrile percentage in the elution solvent over a long time)are required. In the present study, the retention mechanism and peak capacity of HILIC for non-glycosylated and glycosylated proteins were investigated and compared to reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RPLC). For both LC modes, ln k vs. φ plots of a series of test proteins were calculated using linear solvent strength (LSS)analysis. For RPLC, the plots were spread over a wider φ range than for HILIC, suggesting that HILIC methods require shallower gradients to resolve intact proteins. Next, the usefulness of computer-aided method development for the optimization of the separation of intact glycoform by HILIC was examined. Five retention models including LSS, adsorption, and mixed-mode, were tested to describe and predict glycoprotein retention under gradient conditions. The adsorption model appeared most suited and was applied to the gradient prediction for the separation of the glycoforms of six glycoproteins (Ides-digested trastuzumab, alpha-acid glycoprotein, ovalbumin, fetuin and thyroglobulin)employing the program PIOTR. Based on the results of three scouting gradients, conditions for high-efficiency separations of protein glycoforms varying in the degree and complexity of glycosylation was achieved, thereby significantly reducing the time needed for method optimization.",
keywords = "Computer-aided method development, Glycoform separations, HILIC, Intact protein separation, Middle-up protein analysis",
author = "{van Schaick}, Guusje and Pirok, {Bob W.J.} and Rob Haselberg and Somsen, {Govert W.} and Gargano, {Andrea F.G.}",
year = "2019",
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T1 - Computer-aided gradient optimization of hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatographic separations of intact proteins and protein glycoforms

AU - van Schaick, Guusje

AU - Pirok, Bob W.J.

AU - Haselberg, Rob

AU - Somsen, Govert W.

AU - Gargano, Andrea F.G.

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - Protein glycosylation is one of the most common and critical post-translational modification, which results from covalent attachment of carbohydrates to protein backbones. Glycosylation affects the physicochemical properties of proteins and potentially their function. Therefore it is important to establish analytical methods which can resolve glycoforms of glycoproteins. Recently, hydrophilic-interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC)-mass spectrometry has demonstrated to be a useful tool for the efficient separation and characterization of intact protein glycoforms. In particular, amide-based stationary phases in combination with acetonitrile-water gradients containing ion-pairing agents, have been used for the characterization of glycoproteins. However, finding the optimum gradient conditions for glycoform resolution can be quite tedious as shallow gradients (small decrease of acetonitrile percentage in the elution solvent over a long time)are required. In the present study, the retention mechanism and peak capacity of HILIC for non-glycosylated and glycosylated proteins were investigated and compared to reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RPLC). For both LC modes, ln k vs. φ plots of a series of test proteins were calculated using linear solvent strength (LSS)analysis. For RPLC, the plots were spread over a wider φ range than for HILIC, suggesting that HILIC methods require shallower gradients to resolve intact proteins. Next, the usefulness of computer-aided method development for the optimization of the separation of intact glycoform by HILIC was examined. Five retention models including LSS, adsorption, and mixed-mode, were tested to describe and predict glycoprotein retention under gradient conditions. The adsorption model appeared most suited and was applied to the gradient prediction for the separation of the glycoforms of six glycoproteins (Ides-digested trastuzumab, alpha-acid glycoprotein, ovalbumin, fetuin and thyroglobulin)employing the program PIOTR. Based on the results of three scouting gradients, conditions for high-efficiency separations of protein glycoforms varying in the degree and complexity of glycosylation was achieved, thereby significantly reducing the time needed for method optimization.

AB - Protein glycosylation is one of the most common and critical post-translational modification, which results from covalent attachment of carbohydrates to protein backbones. Glycosylation affects the physicochemical properties of proteins and potentially their function. Therefore it is important to establish analytical methods which can resolve glycoforms of glycoproteins. Recently, hydrophilic-interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC)-mass spectrometry has demonstrated to be a useful tool for the efficient separation and characterization of intact protein glycoforms. In particular, amide-based stationary phases in combination with acetonitrile-water gradients containing ion-pairing agents, have been used for the characterization of glycoproteins. However, finding the optimum gradient conditions for glycoform resolution can be quite tedious as shallow gradients (small decrease of acetonitrile percentage in the elution solvent over a long time)are required. In the present study, the retention mechanism and peak capacity of HILIC for non-glycosylated and glycosylated proteins were investigated and compared to reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RPLC). For both LC modes, ln k vs. φ plots of a series of test proteins were calculated using linear solvent strength (LSS)analysis. For RPLC, the plots were spread over a wider φ range than for HILIC, suggesting that HILIC methods require shallower gradients to resolve intact proteins. Next, the usefulness of computer-aided method development for the optimization of the separation of intact glycoform by HILIC was examined. Five retention models including LSS, adsorption, and mixed-mode, were tested to describe and predict glycoprotein retention under gradient conditions. The adsorption model appeared most suited and was applied to the gradient prediction for the separation of the glycoforms of six glycoproteins (Ides-digested trastuzumab, alpha-acid glycoprotein, ovalbumin, fetuin and thyroglobulin)employing the program PIOTR. Based on the results of three scouting gradients, conditions for high-efficiency separations of protein glycoforms varying in the degree and complexity of glycosylation was achieved, thereby significantly reducing the time needed for method optimization.

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KW - Middle-up protein analysis

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