Soluble production of a biologically active single-chain antibody against murine PD-L1 in Escherichia coli

Jeremy J. Drees, Lance B. Augustin, Michael J. Mertensotto, Janet L. Schottel, Arnold S. Leonard, Daniel A. Saltzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1), is an important regulator of T-cell activation and has emerged as an important target for cancer immunotherapy. Single chain variable fragments (scFvs) have several desirable characteristics and are an attractive alternative to monoclonal antibodies for experimental or therapeutic purposes. Three chickens were immunized against murine PD-L1, and mRNA isolated from their spleens was used to generate an immunized immunoglobulin variable region library. Using splice-overlap extension PCR, variable region cDNAs were combined to generate full-length scFvs. M13 phage display of the resulting scFv library identified a functional scFv against PD-L1 (αPD-L1 scFv). The scFv was expressed as soluble protein in the periplasm and culture supernatant of recombinant Escherichia coli and purified with a 6×-His tag using immobile metal affinity chromatography. The dissociation constant of αPD-L1 scFv was determined to be 7.11 × 10-10 M, and the scFv demonstrated inhibitory biological activity comparable to an antagonistic monoclonal antibody, providing an alternative agent for blocking PD-1/PD-L1 signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-66
Number of pages7
JournalProtein Expression and Purification
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this research was provided by the Arnold S. Leonard Cancer Research Fund and the Randy Shaver Cancer Research & Community Fund . The authors thank the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute for providing necessary software licenses for this research.


  • Affinity
  • Antibody
  • Avian library
  • PD-1
  • PD-L1
  • Phage display
  • scFv


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