Rationale: Glycosylation on immunoglobulins is important for the immune function. In this study, we developed and validated a method for the absolute quantification of IgA subclasses and relative quantification of IgA-Fc glycopeptides by using affinity purification and ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC/MS/MS). Only micro-volumes of plasma were required from each sample and we also applied the method to discover IgA and IgA-glycopeptide profiles in patients with chronic kidney diseases and IgA nephropathy. Methods: Peptide M affinity beads were used to purify IgA, and a cost-effective peptide analogue was added as internal standard. With an efficient on-bead digestion process, purified samples were analyzed by UHPLC/MS/MS in multiple reaction monitoring mode. Results: Correlation coefficients were greater than 0.999 for the IgA1 and IgA2 calibration curves and greater than 0.994 for glycopeptide regression curves. Intraday and interday precisions for IgA1 and IgA2 were <1.6% and <5.1% RSD, respectively. Intraday and interday accuracies ranged from 102.6 to 114.9% and 103.5 to 113.5% for IgA1 and IgA2, respectively. Stabilities of IgA1 and IgA2 at −80°C for 7 to 15 days ranged from 96.0 to 109.4%, respectively. The Pearson's correlation coefficient was 0.916 when comparing the IgA quantification results of the 30 clinical samples by using ELISAs and the developed UHPLC/MS/MS method. Compared with healthy controls, IgA and IgA-glycopeptides showed different profiles in patients with chronic kidney diseases and IgA nephropathy. Conclusions: The developed method showed good validation results, and the absolute quantification results of IgA correlated with those from ELISA. The pilot application study showed that IgA and IgA-glycopeptides can be potential biomarker candidates for kidney diseases, and more clinical sample applications are worth investigating.
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