Theranostics 2022; 12(5):2041-2062. doi:10.7150/thno.68636 This issue


Phage display derived peptides for Alzheimer's disease therapy and diagnosis

Xiancheng Zhang1,3, Xiaoyu Zhang1,3, Huiling Gao2, Guangyan Qing1,3,4✉

1. Key Laboratory of Separation Science for Analytical Chemistry, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 457 Zhongshan Road, Dalian 116023, P. R. China.
2. College of Life and Health Sciences, Northeastern University, 3-11 Wenhua Road, Shenyang, 110819, P. R. China.
3. Division of Biotechnology, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 457 Zhongshan Road, Dalian, 116023, P. R. China.
4. College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Wuhan Textile University, 1 Sunshine Road, Wuhan 430200, P. R. China.

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Zhang X, Zhang X, Gao H, Qing G. Phage display derived peptides for Alzheimer's disease therapy and diagnosis. Theranostics 2022; 12(5):2041-2062. doi:10.7150/thno.68636. Available from

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Graphic abstract

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an incurable and fatal progressive neurodegenerative disorder associated with memory and cognition impairment. AD is one of the top medical care concerns across the world with a projected economic burden of $2 trillion by 2030. To date, however, there remains no effective disease-modifying therapy available. It is more important than ever to reveal novel therapeutic approaches. Peptide-based biotherapeutics has been a great potential strategy attributed to their distinct and superior biochemical characteristics, such as reproducible chemical synthesis and modification, rapid cell and tissue permeability, and fast blood clearance. Phage display, one of today's most powerful platforms, allows selection and identification of suitable peptide drug candidates with high affinities and specificity toward target, demonstrating the potential to overcome challenges and limitations in AD diagnosis/treatment. We aim to provide the first comprehensive review to summarize the status in this research direction. The biological overview of phage display is described, including basic biology of the phage vectors and construction principle of phage library, biopanning procedure, mirror image phage display, and various binding affinity evaluation approaches. Further, the applications of phage display in AD therapy, targeted drug delivery, and early detection are presented. Finally, we discuss the current challenges and offer a future outlook for further advancing the potential application of phage display on AD and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, Phage display, Affinity, Peptide therapy, Brain target, Early detection