Use of baculovirus MHC/peptide display libraries to characterize T-cell receptor ligands

Immunol Rev. 2006 Apr;210:156-70. doi: 10.1111/j.0105-2896.2006.00365.x.


Peptide/protein display libraries are powerful tools for identifying and manipulating receptor/ligand pairs. While the large size of bacterial phage display libraries has made them the platform of choice in many applications, often considerable engineering has been required to achieve display of properly folded and active eukaryotic proteins, such as antibodies. This problem has been partially solved in several eukaryotic display systems, e.g. using yeast or retroviruses, but these systems have their own limitations. Recently, baculovirus has been developed as a display system using the virus itself or infected insect cells as the display platform. Here, we review the development and use of baculovirus-infected cells as a platform for display libraries of peptides bound to major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I (MHCI) or class II (MHCII). We have used fluorescent multimeric soluble T-cell receptors (TCRs) to screen these libraries and to identify peptide antigen mimotopes. We also present some improvements to this system that allow very large libraries to be constructed and screened. We have used these libraries to examine the role of MHCII-bound peptides in the presentation of the staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA) and to manipulate an MHCI tumor-associated antigen.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation
  • Baculoviridae / genetics*
  • Enterotoxins / chemistry
  • Enterotoxins / immunology
  • Humans
  • Insecta / cytology
  • Ligands
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptide Library*
  • Peptides / genetics
  • Peptides / immunology
  • Peptides / isolation & purification*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology*


  • Enterotoxins
  • Ligands
  • Peptide Library
  • Peptides
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • enterotoxin A, Staphylococcal