In-capillary approach to eliminate SDS interferences in antibody analysis by capillary electrophoresis coupled to mass spectrometry.

PMID 28008632


Capillary electrophoresis is an important technique for the characterization of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), especially in the pharmaceutical context. However, identification is difficult as upscaling and hyphenation of used methods directly to mass spectrometry is often not possible due to separation medium components that are incompatible with MS detection. Here a CE-MS method for the analysis of mAbs is presented analyzing SDS-complexed samples. To obtain narrow and intensive peaks of SDS-treated antibodies, an in-capillary strategy was developed based on the co-injection of positively charged surfactants and methanol as organic solvent. For samples containing 0.2% (v/v) of SDS, recovered MS peak intensities up to 97 and 95% were achieved using cetyltrimethylammonium bromide or benzalkonium chloride, respectively. Successful removal of SDS was shown in neutral coated capillaries but also in a capillary with a positively charged coating applying reversed polarity. The usefulness of this in-capillary strategy was demonstrated also for other proteins and for antibodies dissolved in up to 10% v/v SDS solution, and in other SDS-containing matrices, including the sieving matrix used in a standard CE-SDS method and gel-buffers applied in SDS-PAGE methods. The developed CE-MS approaches enable fast and reproducible characterization of SDS-complexed antibodies.