SRP and Sec pathway leader peptides for antibody phage display and antibody fragment production in E. coli

N Biotechnol. 2008 Jun;25(1):49-54. doi: 10.1016/j.nbt.2008.01.001. Epub 2008 May 16.


Antibody phage display is a key technology for the generation of recombinant (human) antibodies for research, diagnostics and therapy. Most antibody fragments can only be folded correctly in the oxidizing environment of the periplasm of Escherichia coli. A multitude of leader peptides has been used for secretion of antibody::pIII fusion proteins into the periplasm, but a systematic study of their impact on the performance of antibody phage display systems has not been reported so far. In this work we have analysed the influence of various leader peptides on antibody phage display efficiency and production yields of soluble antibody fragments. Four leader peptides using the Sec pathway (PelB, OmpA, PhoA and pIII) and three using the SRP pathway (DsbA, TorT and TolB) were compared. Both pathways are compatible with antibody phage display and the production of soluble antibody fragments. The applicability of the SRP pathway to antibody phage display and the production of functional scFvs is shown here for the first time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antibodies / immunology
  • Antigens
  • Blotting, Western
  • Chickens
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / chemistry*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / metabolism*
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Fragments / biosynthesis*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptide Library*
  • Protein Sorting Signals*
  • Signal Recognition Particle / metabolism*
  • Solubility


  • Antibodies
  • Antigens
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin Fragments
  • Peptide Library
  • Protein Sorting Signals
  • Signal Recognition Particle