Ligand-directed profiling: Applications to target drug discovery in cancer

Fernanda I. Staquicini, Renata Pasqualini, Wadih Arap

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

3 Scopus citations


Background: Generation of targeted therapy remains a major challenge in medicine. The development of drugs that can discriminate between tumor cells and non-malignant cells would improve efficacy and reduce general side effects. Phage display allows identification of specific supramolecular complexes that can target therapeutic compounds or imaging agents, both in vitro and in vivo. The use of phage display to identify molecules expressed on the surface of human cancer cells without bias, as well as to provide initial steps toward identification of a ligand/receptor-based map of the human microvasculature, has broad implications for drug discovery in general, especially for cancer therapy. Objective/method: In this review, we discuss the use of phage display technology as a ligand-directed targeting strategy and its applications to drug discovery. Conclusion: Compared to other existing drug discovery platforms, phage display technology has the advantage to provide valuable clues pointing to target proteins in an unbiased biological context. The result from various display library screenings indicates that in many cases the selected peptide motifs mimic biological ligands. Analysis of peptide motifs targeting a receptor provides a basis for rational drug design of targeted peptidomimetics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-59
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Discovery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Drug Discovery


  • Drug discovery
  • Phage display
  • Targeted delivery

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