New perspective for phage display as an efficient and versatile technology of functional proteomics

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2010 Jan;85(4):909-19. doi: 10.1007/s00253-009-2277-0. Epub 2009 Oct 14.


Phage display with antibody libraries has been widely used with versatile applications. However, phage display with cDNA libraries is rare and inefficient. Because of uncontrollable reading frames and stop codons in cDNA repertoires, high percentage of phage clones identified from conventional cDNA libraries are non-open reading frames (non-ORFs) encoding unnatural short peptides with minimal implications in protein networks. Consequently, phage display has not been used as a technology of functional proteomics to elucidate protein-protein interactions like yeast two-hybrid system and mass spectrometry-based technologies. Several strategies, including C-terminal display and ORF cDNA libraries, have been explored to circumvent the technical problem. The accumulative endeavors eventually led to the efficient elucidation of a large number of tubby- and phosphatidylserine-binding proteins in recent studies by ORF phage display with minimal reading frame issue. ORF phage display inherits all the versatile applications of antibody phage display, but enables efficient identification of real endogenous proteins with efficiency, sensitivity, and accuracy comparable to other technologies of functional proteomics. Its ELISA-like procedure can be conveniently adapted by individual laboratories or fully automated for high-throughput screening. Thus, ORF phage display is an efficient, sensitive, versatile, and convenient technology of functional proteomics for elucidation of global and pathway-specific protein-protein interactions, disease mechanisms, or therapeutic targets.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Capsid Proteins / genetics
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Gene Library*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Peptide Library*
  • Proteomics*


  • Capsid Proteins
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Peptide Library