Phage display is a genetically encoded peptide library strategy (Scott and Smith 1990; Smith and Scott 1993). In brief, peptides are displayed on the capsid protein of filamentous phage. Each virion particle displays a unique peptide sequence on its surface. Millions of phage clones are exposed to the protein target of interest and the affinity purified particles then amplified in Escherichia coli. Subsequent rounds of selection furnish a few "lead" clones, from which the displayed sequences can be determined via sequencing of the viral DNA coding region. Phage display has been used to acquire peptide ligand sequences for a wide variety of protein interaction domains (Smothers et al. 2002). The obvious limitation here is that the genetic basis for this method restricts the range of amino acids to the 20 standard residues.
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