Characterizing Adeno-Associated Virus Capsids with Both Denaturing and Intact Analysis Methods

Jack P. Ryan, Marius M. Kostelic, Chih Chieh Hsieh, Joshua Powers, Craig Aspinwall, James N. Dodds, John E. Schiel, Michael T. Marty, Erin S. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adeno-associated virus (AAV) capsids are among the leading gene delivery platforms used to treat a vast array of human diseases and conditions. AAVs exist in a variety of serotypes due to differences in viral protein (VP) sequences with distinct serotypes targeting specific cells and tissues. As the utility of AAVs in gene therapy increases, ensuring their specific composition is imperative for the correct targeting and gene delivery. From a quality control perspective, current analytical tools are limited in their selectivity for viral protein (VP) subunits due to their sequence similarities, instrumental difficulties in assessing the large molecular weights of intact capsids, and the uncertainty in distinguishing empty and filled capsids. To address these challenges, we combined two distinct analytical workflows that assess the intact capsids and VP subunits separately. First, a selective temporal overview of resonant ion (STORI)-based charge detection-mass spectrometry (CD-MS) was applied for characterization of the intact capsids. Liquid chromatography, ion mobility spectrometry, and mass spectrometry (LC-IMS-MS) separations were then used for the capsid denaturing measurements. This multimethod combination was applied to three AAV serotypes (AAV2, AAV6, and AAV8) to evaluate their intact empty and filled capsid ratios and then examine the distinct VP sequences and modifications present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2811-2821
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 6 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Spectroscopy


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