Encoding Noncanonical Amino Acids into Phage Displayed Proteins

Cristina Díaz-Perlas, Montserrat Escobar-Rosales, Charles W. Morgan, Benjamí Oller-Salvia

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review


Phage display facilitates the evolution of peptides and proteins for affinity selection against targets, but it is mostly limited to the chemical diversity provided by the naturally encoded amino acids. The combination of phage display with genetic code expansion allows the incorporation of noncanonical amino acids (ncAAs) into proteins expressed on the phage. In this method, we describe incorporation of one or two ncAAs in a single-chain fragment variable (scFv) antibody in response to amber or quadruplet codon. We take advantage of the pyrrolysyl-tRNA synthetase/tRNA pair to incorporate a lysine derivative and an orthogonal tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase/tRNA pair to incorporate a phenylalanine derivative. The encoding of novel chemical functionalities and building blocks in proteins displayed on phage provides the foundation for further phage display applications in fields such as imaging, protein targeting, and the production of new materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-129
Number of pages13
JournalMethods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Bioorthogonal reactions
  • Cyclopropene
  • Phage display
  • Protein engineering
  • Site-specific bioconjugation


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