Use of bifunctional hybrid β-lactamases for epitope mapping and immunoassay development

Andy Chevigné, Nursel Yilmaz, Gilles Gaspard, Fabrizio Giannotta, Jean Marie François, Jean Marie Frère, Moreno Galleni*, Patrice Filée

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Mapping of epitopes is a crucial step for the study of immune pathways, the engineering of vaccines and the development of immunoassays. In this work, the Bacillus licheniformis β-lactamase BlaP has been engineered to display heterologous polypeptides in a permissive and solvent-exposed loop. When combined with phage display, this modified enzyme can be used for epitope mapping by cloning random gene fragments. The procedure presented in this paper allows the selection of large infectious phage libraries with high diversity and efficient β-lactamase activities. A useful aspect of the proposed technique results from the possibility of using the β-lactamase activity carried by phages to evaluate the proportion of immobilised phages during the successive enrichment steps of the library or competition experiments with the selected phages. Another advantage of the technique derives from the fact that the epitope is selected as a bifunctional hybrid protein, which can be overproduced and purified. The resulting recombinant protein associates an epitope with a specific and efficient enzymatic activity. This constitutes an original tool for immunoassay development. A virus influenza hemagglutinin (HA1)-gene fragment library has been generated with this system and used to identify a linear epitope.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-93
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Immunological Methods
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Epitope mapping
  • Hybrid proteins
  • Phage display
  • β-Lactamase


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