Glycosylation on the fragment crystallizable (Fc) region of immunoglobulin G (IgG) has a large influence on the interaction of the antibody with Fc gamma receptors (FcγRs). IgG consists of four subclasses that all have distinct affinities for the different FcγRs. Knowledge about the Fc-glycosylation in healthy human is valuable as reference for new biomarkers and in the design of biopharmaceuticals that rely on IgG Fc-glycosylation. Previously, subclass-specific characterization of IgG Fc-glycosylation was performed for healthy adults, pregnant women, and newborns. For young healthy children, however, the subclass-specific description of IgG Fc-glycosylation is still lacking. Therefore, we performed the IgG subclass-specific analysis of the Fc-glycosylation of 130 healthy humans between birth and 40 years of age, including 22 samples derived from the umbilical cords of newborns. The analysis was performed by a previously published matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI)-time-of-flight (TOF)-mass spectrometry (MS) workflow, including a derivatization step for the linkage-specific stabilization of sialic acids. The characterization revealed that when children start to produce their own IgG they have a decreased galactosylation, sialylation, and bisection and an increased fucosylation compared with newborns. During childhood, the fucosylation and sialylation decrease, whereas bisection increases and galactosylation stays constant.
Keywords: Fc-glycosylation; MALDI-TOF-MS; N-glycans; aging; glycopeptides; immunoglobulin G (IgG); newborns; young children.