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Biotechnol Appl Biochem. 2004 Dec;40(Pt 3):209-28.

Biotechnological applications for surface-engineered bacteria.

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Department of Biotechnology, AlbaNova University Center, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden.


Display of heterologous proteins on the surface of micro-organisms, enabled by means of recombinant DNA technology, has become an increasingly popular strategy in microbiology, biotechnology and vaccinology. Both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria have been investigated for potential applications. The present review will describe the most commonly used systems for bacterial display, with a focus on the biotechnology applications. Live bacterial vaccine-delivery vehicles have long been investigated through the surface display of foreign antigens and, recently, 'second-generation' vaccine-delivery vehicles have been generated by the addition of mucosal targeting signals, as a means to increase immune responses. Engineered bacteria have also the potential to act as novel microbial biocatalysts with heterologous enzymes immobilized as surface exposed on the bacterial cell surface. They provide the potential for 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 explored. Certain bacteria have also been employed to display various polypeptide libraries for use as devices in in vitro selection applications. Part of the present review has been devoted to a more in-depth description of a promising Gram-positive display system, i.e. Staphylococcus carnosus, and its applications. The review describes 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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