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Applications of Cell Surface Engineering in Bacteria

Cell surface engineering in bacteria is a principal technology for cell surface protein engineering by modifying the surface of a bacterial spore. Most bacteria have abundant cell surface-anchoring proteins that can be easily modified. These anchoring proteins are possible ways to display large numbers of recombinant protein molecules on the cell surface of many bacteria. The first study of a bacterial cell surface display system was reported in 1968 with a 32-amino acid residue outer membrane protein A (OmpA) of Escherichia coli K12 strain. So far, a number of bacterial cell surface display systems have been investigated to achieve attachment of heterologous proteins to the surface of different host cells including Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria.

Principle of Cell Surface Engineering in Bacteria

Applications of Surface Engineered Bacteria

Spore layers and surface display of β-galactosidase on B. subtilis spore. Fig.1 Spore layers and surface display of β-galactosidase on B. subtilis spore. (Tafakori, 2012)

Table 1. Development of whole-cell biocatalysts by cell surface display on bacteria. (Nakatani, 2017)

Carrier protein Host Passenger protein Application
Lpp-OmpA E. coli Cex or CBDCex from Cellulomonas fimi Degradation of cellulose
Lpp-OmpA E. coliDH10B PbrR from Cupriavidus metallidurans CH34 Lead ion adsorption
Lpp-OmpA E. coli Thermomyces lanuginosusDSM 5826 xylanase (XynA) Oligosaccharide synthesis
Lpp-OmpA E. coli Methyl parathion hydrolase (MPH)-GFP fusion Bioremediation
INPs E. coliMC1061, MC4100 Alditol oxidase from Streptomyces coelicolor Biochemical conversion
INPs E. coli DH5α Mammalian NADPH-cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase Biochemical conversion/bioremediation
INPs E. coli DH5α Organophosphorus hydrolase (OPH) Bioremediation
AIDA-I E. coliUT5600, UT5600 (DE3) Sorbitol dehydrogenase from Rhodobacter sphaeroides Bioconversion
AIDA-I E. coliBL21 (DE3) Esterase (ApeE) from Salmonella enterica Typhimurium Screening of hydrolases
AIDA-I E. coliUT5600 OPH Bioremediation
AIDA-I / INPs / Lpp-OmpA E. coliJM109, XL1-Blue, BL21(DE3), UT5600 MPH Bioremediation
EstA E. coli71-18, BL21(DE3) Bacillus subtilislipase LipA; Fusarium solani pisi cutinase; Serratia marcescens lipase Screening of lipase variant
MATE system Pseudomonas putida KT2440 Cellulases CelK, CelA and β-glucosidase BglA from Clostridium thermocellum Degradation of cellulose
Lpp-OmpA / INPs E. coliXL1-Blue MPH-GFP fusion protein; OPH Bioremediation

By leveraging the wealth of information on bacteria surface engineering, Creative Biolabs is pleased to help you with your study and deliver the fast, reliable support you need for any phase of your project. Please feel free to contact us for a detailed quote and further discussion with our scientists.


  1. Nakatani, H.; Hori, K. Cell surface protein engineering for high-performance whole-cell catalysts. Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering. 2017, 11(1):46-57.
  2. Tafakori, V.; et al. Microbial cell surface display; its medical and environmental applications. Iranian Journal of Biotechnology. 2012, 10(4):231-9.

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