The display of peptides or proteins on the surface of viruses is an important technology for studying peptides or proteins and their interaction with other molecules. Here we describe a display vehicle based on bacteriophage lambda that incorporates a number of features distinct from other currently used display systems. Fusions of peptides or protein domains have been made to the amino terminus of the 11-kDa D protein of the lambda capsid. These fusions assemble onto the viral capsid and appear to be accessible to ligand interactions, based on the ability of a monoclonal antibody to recognize an epitope fused to the D protein on phage heads. To produce large D fusion display libraries and yet avoid the cumbersome task of cloning many fragments into lambda DNA, we have used the Cre-loxP site-specific recombination system in vivo to incorporate plasmids encoding the D fusions into the phage genome. Finally, we show that D fusion proteins can be added in vitro to phage lacking D protein and be assembled onto the viral capsid
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