Aggregation of protein therapeutics has long been a concern across different stages of manufacturing processes in the biopharmaceutical industry. It is often indicative of aberrant protein therapeutic higher-order structure. In this study, the aggregation propensity of a human Fc-fusion protein therapeutic was characterized. Hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) was applied to examine the conformational dynamics of dimers collected from a bioreactor. HDX-MS data combined with spatial aggregation propensity calculations revealed a potential aggregation interface in the Fc domain. This study provides a general strategy for the characterization of the aggregation propensity of Fc-fusion proteins at the molecular level.Graphical Abstract.
Keywords: Aggregation propensity; Fc fusion protein; Hydrogen/Deuterium exchange mass spectrometry.