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Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) display numerous structural attributes, some of them may impact their safety and/or efficacy profiles. C-terminal lysine clipping is a common phenomenon occurring during the bioproduction of mAbs and leads to variable amounts of final process-related charge variants. If Fc-glycosylation has been by far the most documented critical quality attribute (CQA), the potential impacts of mAb C-terminal lysine content is far less reported, particularly on the ability of these basic variants to bind human Fc receptors. To address this question, three charge variant species having zero (K0), one (K1) and two (K2) C-terminal lysine(s) were isolated with high purity from an in-house human IgG1 by preparative strong-cation exchange (SCX) chromatography. A comprehensive biophysical characterization of these three fractions was undertaken, demonstrating their high similarity in terms of structural homogeneity, with a particular attention paid on their respective N-glycosylation profiles. The binding affinity of the fractions to human FcγRIIIa-Val176 was assessed both by affinity chromatography and surface plasmon resonance (SPR), and to human neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) by affinity chromatography. Results demonstrate that the three charge variants did not show any significant binding difference for the two tested human Fc receptors, translating certainly to comparable biological properties. As a consequence, C-terminal lysine clipping of the present therapeutic IgG1 should not impact both FcRn-dependent pharmacokinetic profiles and FcγRIIIa-driven cytotoxic activities. The methods used in this study can be widely applied to other IgG1 to define criticality of the C-terminal lysine clipping as a CQA. Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.


Valegh Faid, Yann Leblanc, Marie Berger, Alexander Seifert, Nicolas Bihoreau, Guillaume Chevreux. C-terminal lysine clipping of IgG1: impact on binding to human FcγRIIIa and neonatal Fc receptors. European journal of pharmaceutical sciences : official journal of the European Federation for Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2021 Apr 01;159:105730

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PMID: 33493670

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