Novel Zn2+-chelating peptides selected from a fimbria-displayed random peptide library

Kristian Kjærgaard, Mark Schembri, Per Klemm

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The display of peptide sequences on the surface of bacteria is a technology that offers exciting applications in biotechnology and medical research. Type 1 fimbriae are surface organelles of Escherichia coli which mediate D-mannose-sensitive binding to different host surfaces by virtue of the FimH adhesin. FimH is a component of the fimbrial organelle that can accommodate and display a diverse range of peptide sequences on the E. coli cell surface. In this study we have constructed a random peptide library in FimH. The library, consisting of similar to 40 million individual clones, was screened for peptide sequences that conferred on recombinant cells the ability to bind Zn2+. By serial selection, sequences that exhibited various degrees of binding affinity and specificity toward Zn2+ were enriched. None of the isolated sequences showed similarity to known Zn2+-binding proteins, indicating that completely novel Zn2+-binding peptide sequences had been isolated. By changing the protein scaffold system, we demonstrated that the Zn2+-binding seems to be uniquely mediated by the peptide insert and to be independent of the sequence of the carrier protein. These findings might be applied in the design of biomatrices for bioremediation purposes or in the development of sensors for detection of heavy metals.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
    Issue number12
    Pages (from-to)5467-5473
    Publication statusPublished - 2001

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