Peptide discovery using bacterial display and flow cytometry

Methods Enzymol. 2012;503:75-97. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-396962-0.00004-5.


Peptides are increasingly used as therapeutic and diagnostic agents. The combination of bacterial cell-surface display peptide libraries with magnetic- and fluorescence-activated cell sorting technologies provides an efficient and highly effective methodology to identify and engineer peptides for a growing number of molecular recognition applications. Here, detailed protocols for both the generation and screening of bacterial display peptide libraries are presented. The methods described enable the discovery and evolutionary optimization of protein-binding peptides, cell-specific peptides, and enzyme substrates for diverse biotechnology applications.

MeSH terms

  • DNA / chemistry
  • Drug Discovery / methods*
  • Escherichia coli / chemistry*
  • Flow Cytometry / methods*
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry
  • Genetic Vectors / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Peptide Library*
  • Peptides / chemistry*
  • Peptides / isolation & purification
  • Peptides / standards
  • Plasmids / chemistry
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Engineering / methods
  • Protein Engineering / standards
  • Species Specificity
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Peptide Library
  • Peptides
  • DNA