After albumin, immunoglobulin G (IgG) are the most abundant proteins in human serum, with IgG1 and IgG3 being the most abundant subclasses directed against protein antigens. The quality of the IgG-Fc-glycosylation has important functional consequences, which have been found to be skewed toward low fucosylation in some antigen-specific immune responses. This increases the affinity to IgG1-Fc-receptor (FcγR)IIIa/b and thereby directly affects downstream effector functions and disease severity. To date, antigen-specific IgG-glycosylation have not been analyzed for IgG3. Here, we analyzed 30 pregnant women with anti-K alloantibodies from a prospective screening cohort and compared the type of Fc-tail glycosylation of total serum- and antigen-specific IgG1 and IgG3 using mass spectrometry. Total serum IgG1 and IgG3 Fc-glycoprofiles were highly similar. Fc glycosylation of antigen-specific IgG varied greatly between individuals, but correlated significantly with each other for IgG1 and IgG3, except for bisection. However, although the magnitude of changes in fucosylation and galactosylation were similar for both subclasses, this was not the case for sialylation levels, which were significantly higher for both total and anti-K IgG3. We found that the combination of relative IgG1 and IgG3 Fc-glycosylation levels did not improve the prediction of anti-K mediated disease over IgG1 alone. In conclusion, Fc-glycosylation profiles of serum- and antigen-specific IgG1 and IgG3 are highly similar.
Keywords: Fc glycosylation; IgG1; IgG1 Fc; IgG3; IgG3 Fc; antibodies; mass spectrometry.