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Molecules. 2011 Feb 17;16(2):1667-81. doi: 10.3390/molecules16021667.

Design and screening of M13 phage display cDNA libraries.

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Department of Vertebrate Genomics, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Ihnestra├če 63-73, 14195 Berlin, Germany.


The last decade has seen a steady increase in screening of cDNA expression product libraries displayed on the surface of filamentous bacteriophage. At the same time, the range of applications extended from the identification of novel allergens over disease markers to protein-protein interaction studies. However, the generation and selection of cDNA phage display libraries is subjected to intrinsic biological limitations due to their complex nature and heterogeneity, as well as technical difficulties regarding protein presentation on the phage surface. Here, we review the latest developments in this field, discuss a number of strategies and improvements anticipated to overcome these challenges making cDNA and open reading frame (ORF) libraries more readily accessible for phage display. Furthermore, future trends combining phage display with next generation sequencing (NGS) will be presented.

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