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Comparative Glycomics Analysis of Influenza Hemagglutinin (H5N1) Produced in Vaccine Relevant Cell Platforms

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journal contribution
posted on 02.08.2013, 00:00 by Yanming An, Joseph A. Rininger, Donald L. Jarvis, Xianghong Jing, Zhiping Ye, Jared J. Aumiller, Maryna Eichelberger, John F. Cipollo
Hemagglutinin (HA) is the major antigen in influenza vaccines, and glycosylation is known to influence its antigenicity. Embryonated hen eggs are traditionally used for influenza vaccine production, but vaccines produced in mammalian and insect cells were recently licensed. This raises the concern that vaccines produced with different cell systems might not be equivalent due to differences in their glycosylation patterns. Thus, we developed an analytical method to monitor vaccine glycosylation through a combination of nanoLC/MSE and quantitative MALDI-TOF MS permethylation profiling. We then used this method to examine glycosylation of HAs from two different influenza H5N1 strains produced in five different platforms, including hen eggs, three different insect cell lines (High Five, expresSF+ and glycoengineered expresSF+), and a human cell line (HEK293). Our results demonstrated that (1) sequon utilization is not necessarily equivalent in different cell types, (2) there are quantitative and qualitative differences in the overall N-glycosylation patterns and structures produced by different cell types, (3) ∼20% of the N-glycans on the HAs produced by High Five cells are core α1,3-fucosylated structures, which may be allergenic in humans, and (4) our method can be used to monitor differences in glycosylation during the cellular glycoengineering stages of vaccine development.

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