Comparison of SEC and CE-SDS methods for monitoring hinge fragmentation in IgG1 monoclonal antibodies
Fragmentation of monoclonal antibodies is a critical quality attribute routinely monitored to assess the purity and integrity of the product from development to commercialization. Cleavage in the upper hinge region of IgG1 monoclonal antibodies is a common fragmentation pattern widely studied by size exclusion chromatography (SEC). Capillary electrophoresis with sodium dodecylsulfate (CE-SDS) is a well-established technique commonly used for monitoring antibody fragments as well, but its comparability to SEC in monitoring hinge fragments has not been established until now. We report a characterization strategy that establishes the correlation between hinge region fragments analyzed by SEC and CE-SDS. Monoclonal antibodies with elevated hinge fragments were generated under low pH stress conditions and analyzed by SEC and CE-SDS. The masses of the fragments generated were determined by LC-MS. Electrophoretic migration of the hinge fragmentation products in CE-SDS were determined based on their mass values. Comparative assessment of fragments by SEC, and CE-SDS showed similar correlation with incubation time. This study demonstrates that CE-SDS can be employed as a surrogate technique to SEC for monitoring hinge region fragments. Most importantly, combination of these techniques can be used to obtain comprehensive understanding of fragment related characteristics of therapeutic protein products.