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Letters to Nature
Nature 348, 552 - 554 (06 December 1990); doi:10.1038/348552a0

Phage antibodies: filamentous phage displaying antibody variable domains

John McCafferty*, Andrew D. Griffiths*, Greg Winter* & David J. Chiswell

*MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Hills Road,Cambridge CB2 2QH, UK
Cambridge Antibody Technology Ltd, Daly Research Laboratories,Babraham Hall, Cambridge, CB2 4AT, UK
To whom correspondence should be addressed.

NEW ways of making antibodies have recently been demonstrated using gene technology. Immunoglobulm variable (V) genes are amplified from hybridomas or B cells using the polymerase chain reaction, and cloned into expression vectors. Soluble antibody fragments secreted from bacteria are then screened for binding activities (see ref. 1 for review). Screening of V genes would, however, be revolutionized if they could be expressed on the surface of bacteriophage. Phage carrying V genes that encode binding activities could then be selected directly with antigen. Here we show that complete antibody V domains can be displayed on the surface of fd bacteriophage, that the phage bind specifically to antigen and that rare phage (one in a million) can be isolated after affinity chromatography.

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