Efficient selection of DARPins with sub-nanomolar affinities using SRP phage display

J Mol Biol. 2008 Oct 24;382(5):1211-27. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2008.07.085. Epub 2008 Aug 6.


There is an ever-increasing demand to select specific, high-affinity binding molecules against targets of biomedical interest. The success of such selections depends strongly on the design and functional diversity of the library of binding molecules employed, and on the performance of the selection strategy. We recently developed SRP phage display that employs the cotranslational signal recognition particle (SRP) pathway for the translocation of proteins to the periplasm. This system allows efficient filamentous phage display of highly stable and fast-folding proteins, such as designed ankyrin repeat proteins (DARPins) that are virtually refractory to conventional phage display employing the post-translational Sec pathway. DARPins comprise a novel class of binding molecules suitable to complement or even replace antibodies in many biotechnological or biomedical applications. So far, all DARPins have been selected by ribosome display. Here, we harnessed SRP phage display to generate a phage DARPin library containing more than 10(10) individual members. We were able to select well behaved and highly specific DARPins against a broad range of target proteins having affinities as low as 100 pM directly from this library, without affinity maturation. We describe efficient selection on the Fc domain of human IgG, TNFalpha, ErbB1 (EGFR), ErbB2 (HER2) and ErbB4 (HER4) as examples. Thus, SRP phage display makes filamentous phage display accessible for DARPins, allowing, for example, selection under harsh conditions or on whole cells. We envision that the use of SRP phage display will be beneficial for other libraries of stable and fast-folding proteins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ankyrin Repeat* / genetics
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Biophysical Phenomena
  • Biophysics
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • Drug Design
  • Epitopes / chemistry
  • Epitopes / genetics
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments / metabolism
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism
  • Nanotechnology
  • Peptide Library*
  • Protein Binding
  • Signal Recognition Particle* / chemistry
  • Signal Recognition Particle* / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • DNA Primers
  • Epitopes
  • Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Peptide Library
  • Signal Recognition Particle
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • EGFR protein, human
  • ErbB Receptors