Affinity maturation of TCR-like antibodies using phage display guided by structural modeling

Protein Eng Des Sel. 2022 Feb 17;35:gzac005. doi: 10.1093/protein/gzac005.


TCR-like antibodies represent a unique type of engineered antibodies with specificity toward pHLA, a ligand normally restricted to the sensitive recognition by T cells. Here, we report a phage display-based sequential development path of such antibodies. The strategy goes from initial lead identification through in silico informed CDR engineering in combination with framework engineering for affinity and thermostability optimization, respectively. The strategy allowed the identification of HLA-DQ2.5 gluten peptide-specific TCR-like antibodies with low picomolar affinity. Our method outlines an efficient and general method for development of this promising class of antibodies, which should facilitate their utility including translation to human therapy.

Keywords: antibody; celiac disease; phage display.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies*
  • Bacteriophages*
  • Humans
  • Peptides / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics
  • T-Lymphocytes


  • Antibodies
  • Peptides
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell