A multitude of systems for the presentation of foreign peptides or proteins on the surface of microorganisms has been developed within the past two decades. However, the majority of the bacterial surface display systems are devoted to the presentation of heterologous antigens to the immune system (vaccine generation). Bacteria are the preferable hosts for the generation of vast genetic repertoires, and their genetic manipulation and cultivation is easy. As a consequence, they provide promising systems for large-scale functional screenings, e.g. for enzyme activity or protein-protein interactions. This review will focus on examples of microbial surface display used for the screening of combinatorial repertoires. Further, we discuss future opportunities and promising candidate proteins not yet employed for that task.
Keywords: epitope mapping, surface display, peptide libraries, combinatorial libraries, antibody selection, mutant selection, gram-positive, gram-negative
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