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Lett Appl Microbiol. 1999 May;28(5):350-4.

Bacterial surface display of an anti-pollutant antibody fragment.

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Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Aberdeen, UK.


A peptidoglycan-associated lipoprotein (PAL) fused to an antibody fragment (scFv) specific to the herbicide and environmental pollutant atrazine, has been successfully targeted to the cell surface of Escherichia coli. Anti-atrazine binding could be observed via an atrazine-alkaline phosphatase conjugate. Cells containing the PAL fusion grew with little cellular toxicity when compared with the control. In contrast, expression of anti-atrazine antibody fragments alone caused the cells to lyse after 4 h. The surface display of anti-pollutant antibodies may have a future role in the bioremediation of contaminated water or the development of pollutant-specific, whole-cell biosensors.

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