Phage Display Technologies


Phage display is a method that uses bacterial virus (phage) as a vehicle to express diverse protein or peptide sequences as part of the phage coat protein by cloning deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) fragments in frame with phage coat protein genes. Upon viral infection, the expressed peptides are displayed on the surface of the viral particle. Depending on the DNA fragments cloned, phage display allows for expression of either short peptides or large proteins, such as immunoglobulin, on the viral surface.

Keywords: phage; protein; library; antibody; plasmid

Figure 1.

A schematic diagram showing (a) wild type filamentous phage; (b) pIII‐based phage display; (c) pVIII‐based phage display.



Cull MG, Miller JF and Schatz PJ (1992) Screening for receptor ligands using large libraries of peptides linked to the C terminus of the lac repressor. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 89: 1865–1869.

Mattheakis LC, Bhatt RR and Dower WJ (1994) An in vitro polysome display system for identifying ligands from very large peptide libraries. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 91: 9022–9026.

Smith GP (1985) Filamentous fusion phage: novel expression vectors that display cloned antigens on the virion surface. Science 228: 1315–1317.

Spada S, Krebber C and Pluckthun A (1997) Selectively infective phages (SIP). Journal of Biological Chemistry 378: 445–456.

Sparks AB, Quilliam LA, Thorn JM, Der CJ and Kay BK (1994) Identification and characterization of Src SH3 ligands from phage‐displayed random peptide libraries. Journal of Biological Chemistry 269: 23853–23856.

Sternberg N and Hoess R (1995) Display of peptides and proteins on the surface of bacteriophage. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 92: 1609–1613.

Stricker N, Christopherson K, Yi B et al. (1997) PDZ domain of neuronal nitric oxide synthase recognizes novel C‐terminal peptide sequences. Nature Biotechnology 15: 336–342.

Winter G, Griffiths AD, Hawkins RE and Hoogenboom HR (1994) Making antibodies by phage display technology. Annual Review of Immunology 12: 433–455.

Wrighton N, Farrell F, Chang R et al. (1996) Small peptides as potent mimetics of the protein hormone erythropoietin. Science 273: 458–463.

Contact Editor close
Submit a note to the editor about this article by filling in the form below.

* Required Field

How to Cite close
Stricker, Nicole, and Li, Min(Apr 2001) Phage Display Technologies. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0000982]