A yeast surface display system for the discovery of ligands that trigger cell activation

Bryan K. Cho, Michele C. Kieke, Eric T. Boder, K. Dane Wittrup, David M. Kranz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Opposing cells often communicate signalling events using multivalent interactions between receptors present on their cell surface. For example, T cells are typically activated when the T cell receptor (TCR) and its associated costimulatory molecules are multivalently engaged by the appropriate ligands present on an antigen presenting cell. In this report, yeast expressing high cell-surface levels of a TCR ligand (a recombinant antibody to the TCR Vβ domain) were shown to act as 'pseudo' antigen presenting cells and induce T cell activation as monitored by increased levels of CD25 and CD69 and by downregulation of cell surface TCR. Similar levels of T cell activation could occur even when a 30-fold excess of irrelevant yeast was present, suggesting that such a yeast display system, by virtue of its ability to present ligands multivalently, may be used in highly sensitive procedures to identify novel polypeptides that interact multivalently with cell surface receptors and thereby trigger specific cellular responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-188
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunological Methods
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Nov 1 1998


  • Antigen presentation
  • Biological screening
  • ScFv
  • T cell activation
  • Yeast display

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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