Antibody glycosylation plays a crucial role in the humoral immune response by regulating effector functions and influencing the binding affinity to immune cell receptors. Previous studies have focused mainly on the immunoglobulin G (IgG) isotype owing to the analytical challenges associated with other isotypes. Thus, the development of a sensitive and accurate analytical platform is necessary to characterize antibody glycosylation across multiple isotypes. In this study, we have developed an analytical workflow using antibody-light-chain affinity beads to purify IgG, IgA, and IgM from 16 μL of human plasma. Dual enzymes, trypsin and Glu-C, were used during on-bead digestion to obtain enzymatic glycopeptides and protein-specific surrogate peptides. Ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with triple quadrupole mass spectrometry was used in order to determine the sensitivity and specificity. Our platform targets 95 glycopeptides across the IgG, IgA, and IgM isotypes, as well as eight surrogate peptides representing total IgG, four IgG classes, two IgA classes, and IgM. Four stable isotope-labeled internal standards were added after antibody purification to calibrate the preparation and instrumental bias during analysis. Calibration curves constructed using serially diluted plasma samples showed good curve fitting (R2 > 0.959). The intrabatch and interbatch precision for all the targets had relative standard deviation of less than 29.6%. This method was applied to 19 human plasma samples, and the glycosylation percentages were calculated, which were comparable to those reported in the literature. The developed method is sensitive and accurate for Ig glycosylation profiling. It can be used in clinical investigations, particularly for detailed humoral immune profiling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100710
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • Humans
  • Glycosylation
  • Immunoglobulin G/metabolism
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid/methods
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Glycopeptides/metabolism
  • Digestion
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin M


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