Staphylococcal surface display in directed evolution

Sammanfattning: Engineered affinity proteins have together with naturally derived antibodies becomeindispensable tools in many areas of life-science and with the increasing number ofapplications, the need for high-throughput methods for generation of such different affinityproteins is evident. Today, combinatorial protein engineering is the most successful strategy toisolate novel non-immunoglobulin affinity proteins. In this approach, generally termed directedevolution, high-complexity combinatorial libraries are created from which affinity proteins areisolated using an appropriate selection method, thus circumventing the need for detailedknowledge of the protein structure or the binding mechanism, often necessary in more rationalapproaches. Since the introduction of the phage display technology that pioneered the field ofcombinatorial engineering, several alternative selection systems have been developed for thispurpose.This thesis describes the development of a novel selection system based onstaphylococcal surface display and its implementation in directed evolution approaches. In thefirst study, the transformation efficiency to the gram-positive bacteria Staphylococcus carnosus wassuccessfully improved around 10,000-fold to a level that would allow cell surface display ofcomplex combinatorial protein libraries. In two separate studies, the staphylococcal displaysystem was investigated for the applicability in both de novo selection and affinity maturation ofaffibody molecules. First, using a pre-selection strategy with one round of phage display, ahigh-complexity affibody library was displayed on staphylococcal cells. Using fluorescenceactivatedcell sorting, binders with sub-nanomolar affinity to tumor necrosis factor-alpha(TNF-α) were isolated. Second, a combined approach using phage display for de novo selectionof first-generation affibody binders and staphylococcal display in a subsequent affinitymaturation selection was applied to generate binders with low nanomolar affinity to the humanepidermal growth factor receptor-3 (ErbB3). Moreover, in an additional study, thestaphylococcal surface display system was improved by the introduction of a protease 3Ccleavage sequence in the displayed fusion products in order to facilitate straightforwardproduction of soluble proteins for further downstream characterization.Altogether, the presented studies demonstrate that the staphylococcal selection systemindeed is a powerful tool for selection and characterization of novel affinity proteins and couldbecome an attractive alternative to existing selection techniques.