The understanding and characterization of protein interactions is crucial for elucidation of complicated biomolecular processes as well as for the development of new biopharmaceutical therapies. Often, protein interactions involve multiple binding, avidity, oligomerization, and are dependent on the local environment. Current analytical methodologies are unable to provide a detailed mechanistic characterization considering all these parameters, since they often rely on surface immobilization, cannot measure under biorelevant conditions, or do not feature a structurally-related readout for indicating formation of multiple bound species.
In this work, we report the use of flow induced dispersion analysis (FIDA) for in-solution characterization of complex protein interactions under in-vivo like conditions. FIDA is an immobilization-free ligand binding methodology employing Taylor dispersion analysis for measuring the hydrodynamic radius (size) of biomolecular complexes. Here, the FIDA technology is utilized for a size-based characterization of the interaction between TNF-α and adalimumab. We report concentration-dependent complex sizes, binding affinities (Kd), kinetics, and higher order stoichiometries, thus providing essential information on the TNF-α - adalimumab binding mechanism. Furthermore, it is shown that the avidity stabilized complexes involving formation of multiple non-covalent bonds are formed on a longer timescale than the primary complexes formed in a simple 1 to 1 binding event.