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J Biotechnol. 2002 Jun 26;96(2):129-54.

Display of proteins on bacteria.

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Division of Molecular Biotechnology, Department of Biotechnology, SCFAB, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Roslagstullsbacken 21, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden.


Display of heterologous proteins on the surface of microorganisms, enabled by means of recombinant DNA technology, has become an increasingly used strategy in various applications in microbiology, biotechnology and vaccinology. Gram-negative, Gram-positive bacteria, viruses and phages are all being investigated in such applications. This review will focus on the bacterial display systems and applications. Live bacterial vaccine delivery vehicles are being developed through the surface display of foreign antigens on the bacterial surfaces. In this field, 'second generation' vaccine delivery vehicles are at present being generated by the addition of mucosal targeting signals, through co-display of adhesins, in order to achieve targeting of the live bacteria to immunoreactive sites to thereby increase immune responses. Engineered bacteria are further being evaluated as novel microbial biocatalysts with heterologous enzymes immobilized as surface exposed on the bacterial cell surface. A discussion has started whether bacteria can find use as new types of whole-cell diagnostic devices since single-chain antibodies and other type of tailor-made binding proteins can be displayed on bacteria. Bacteria with increased binding capacity for certain metal ions can be created and potential environmental or biosensor applications for such recombinant bacteria as biosorbents are being discussed. Certain bacteria have also been employed for display of various poly-peptide libraries for use as devices in in vitro selection applications. Through various selection principles, individual clones with desired properties can be selected from such libraries. This article explains the basic principles of the different bacterial display systems, and discusses current uses and possible future trends of these emerging technologies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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