Selection and characterization of HER2/neu-binding affibody ligands

M. Wikman, A. C. Steffen, E. Gunneriusson, V. Tolmachev, G. P. Adams, J. Carlsson, S. Ståhl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

153 Citations (Scopus)


Affibody® (affibody) ligands that are specific for the extracellular domain of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2/neu) have been selected by phage display technology from a combinatorial protein library based on the 58 amino acid residue staphylococcal protein A-derived Z domain. The predominant variants from the phage selection were produced in Escherichia coli, purified by affinity chromatography, and characterized by biosensor analyses. Two affibody variants were shown to selectively bind to the extracellular domain of HER2/neu (HER2-ECD), but not to control proteins. One of the variants, denoted His6-ZHER2/neu:4, was demonstrated to bind with nanomolar affinity (∼50 nM) to the HER2-ECD molecule at a different site than the monoclonal antibody trastuzumab. Furthermore, radiolabeled His 6-ZHER2/neu:4 affibody showed specific binding to native HER2/neu, overexpressed on the SKBR-3 tumor cell line. Such affibody ligands might be considered in tumor targeting applications for radionuclide diagnostics and therapy of adenocarcinomas such as breast and ovarian cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-462
Number of pages8
JournalProtein Engineering, Design and Selection
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Affibody
  • HER2
  • Ligand
  • Phage display
  • Selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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