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1.  Design of a Modular Protein-Based MRI Contrast Agent for Targeted Application 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e65346.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) offers a non-radioactive alternative for the non-invasive detection of tumours. Low molecular weight MRI contrast agents currently in clinical use suffer either from a lack of specificity for tumour tissue or from low relaxivity and thus low contrast amplification. In this study, we present the newly designed two domain fusion protein Zarvin, which is able to bind to therapeutic IgG antibodies suitable for targeting, while facilitating contrast enhancement through high affinity binding sites for Gd3+. We show that the Zarvin fold is stable under serum conditions, specifically targets a cancer cell-line when bound to the Cetuximab IgG, and allows for imaging with high relaxivity, a property that would be advantageous for the detection of small tumours and metastases at 1.5 or 3 T.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065346
PMCID: PMC3675113  PMID: 23762349
2.  Estimating affinities of calcium ions to proteins 
Ca2+-ions have a range of affinities to different proteins, depending on the various functions of these proteins. This makes the determination of Ca2+-protein affinities an interesting subject for functional studies. We have investigated the performance of two methods – Fold-X and AutoDock vina – in the prediction of Ca2+-protein affinities. Both methods, although based on different energy functions, showed virtually the same correlation with experimental affinities. Guided by insight from experiment, we further derived a simple linear model based on the solvent accessible surface of Ca2+ that had practically the same performance in terms of absolute errors as the more complex docking methods.
PMCID: PMC3170010  PMID: 21918621
metal ions; binding; free energy; crystal structure; solvent accessible surface

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