Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

mRNA Display

  • Burckhard Seelig
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_5214-1


The mRNA display method is an in vitro selection technique that allows the isolation of functional proteins from large combinatorial libraries of polypeptide variants (Roberts and Szostak 1997; Nemoto et al. 1997). This technology has been used to determine the probability of occurrence of proteins with a specific function in the vast sequence space of all possible polypeptides.


Functional proteins might have originated from early peptides that initially were synthesized as random amino acid polymers. In order to test the likelihood of such random mixtures containing functional polypeptides, a large number of polypeptides need to be tested as this likelihood might be low. While there are numerous methods to sample mixtures of proteins, the approach that can search the largest number of mutants is most suited to address this question. mRNA display is a technique that can sample libraries of up to 10 13randomized protein variants. In mRNA display, the messenger RNA...


Sequence Space Combinatorial Library Functional Protein Selection Technique Sample Mixture 
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References and Further Readings

  1. Chao F-A et al (2013) Structure and dynamics of a primordial catalytic fold generated by in vitro evolution. Nat Chem Biol 9:81–83CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  2. Golynskiy MV, Seelig B (2010) De novo enzymes: from computational design to mRNA display. Trends Biotechnol 28:340–345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Keefe AD, Szostak JW (2001) Functional proteins from a random-sequence library. Nature 410:715–718CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  4. Nemoto N, Miyamoto-Sato E, Husimi Y, Yanagawa H (1997) In vitro virus: Bonding of mRNA bearing puromycin at the 3′-terminal end to the C-terminal end of its encoded protein on the ribosome in vitro. FEBS Lett 414:405–408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Roberts RW, Szostak JW (1997) RNA-peptide fusions for the in vitro selection of peptides and proteins. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 94:12297–12302zbMATHCrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  6. Seelig B, Szostak JW (2007) Selection and evolution of enzymes from a partially randomized non-catalytic scaffold. Nature 448:828–831CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  7. Takahashi TT, Austin RJ, Roberts RW (2003) mRNA display: ligand discovery, interaction analysis and beyond. Trends Biochem Sci 28:159–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Yanagawa H (2013) Exploration of the origin and evolution of globular proteins by mRNA display. Biochemistry 52:3841–3851CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics & BioTechnology InstituteUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA