Structural Characterisation of Non-Deamidated Acidic Variants of Erwinia chrysanthemi L-asparaginase Using Small-Angle X-ray Scattering and Ion-Mobility Mass Spectrometry

Gervais, David; King, Darryl; Kanda, Patrick; Foote, Nicholas; Elliott, Lucy; Brown, Phillip; Lee, Natacha; Thalassinos, Konstantinos; Pizzey, Claire; Rambo, Robert; Minshull, Thomas; Dickman, Mark; Smith, Stuart
November 2015
Pharmaceutical Research;Nov2015, Vol. 32 Issue 11, p3636
Academic Journal
Purpose: Erwinia chrysanthemi L-asparaginase (ErA) is an enzyme commonly used in the treatment regimen for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL). Biopharmaceutical products such as ErA must be monitored for modifications such as deamidation, typically using ion-exchange chromatography (IEX). Analysis of clinical-grade ErA using native IEX resolves a number of enzymatically-active, acidic variants that were poorly characterised. Methods: ErA IEX variants were isolated and fully characterised using capillary electrophoresis (cIEF), LC-MS and LC-MS/MS of proteolytic digests, and structural techniques including circular dichroism, small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and ion-mobility mass spectrometry (IM-MS). Results: LC-MS, MS/MS and cIEF demonstrated that all ErA isolates consist mainly of enzyme lacking primary-sequence modifications (such as deamidation). Both SAXS and IM-MS revealed a different conformational state in the most prominent acidic IEX peak. However, SAXS data also suggested conformational differences between the main peak and major acidic variant were minor, based on comparisons with crystal structures. Conclusions: IEX data for biopharmaceuticals such as ErA should be thoroughly characterised, as the most common modifications, such as deamidation, may be absent.


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