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Cell-Free Protein Expression

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CD Biosynsis has a team of experienced and highly skilled scientists to provide synthetic biology researchers around the world with high-quality cell-free protein expression services to facilitate their cutting-edge research.

Introduction to Cell-Free Protein Expression

Cell-free protein expression or cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) refers to the protein expression approach that produces target proteins without using living cells. All the cellular machinery, such as ribosomes, enzymes, tRNAs, amino acids, and cofactors, are contained in CFPS for direct protein synthesis. A supplied nucleic acid template can be transcribed and translated in CFPS, and this process is not constrained by a cell wall or homeostasis conditions required to maintain cell viability.

CFPS is well-suited for many applications. It has recently evolved into key platforms for synthetic biology applications. The cell-based systems have limited applications, while CFPS can circumvent many limitations and eliminate complexities. It provides exciting opportunities for rational design and manipulation of biological systems.

Figure 1. Cell-free protein expression systems and their applications. (Tinafar A, et al., 2019)Figure 1. Cell-free protein expression systems and their applications. (Tinafar A, et al., 2019)

Advantages of CFPS

  • Different expression conditions can be screened.
  • Capable of producing proteins with modified or unnatural amino acids.
  • Capable of producing toxic proteins.
  • Capable of producing proteins with post-translational modifications.
  • Optimization of protein production
  • Co-translational solubilization of membrane proteins
  • Selective and site-specific labeling.
  • Faster turnaround time compared to traditional in vivo protein expression approaches.
  • Robust performance, scalability, and cost-effectiveness.

Service Offering

CD Biosynsis provides our customers with complete services based on various cell-free protein expression systems to meet their specific needs. We can solve the problems of protein expression by understanding the special properties of the target protein.

Expression System Advantages
Cell-Free Protein Expression

Escherichia coli Extract (ECE)

  • Rapid growth kinetics.
  • High-batch yields and low-cost.
  • Relatively tolerant of additives.
  • Commercially available.
  • Genetic tools available for synthetic biology.
Cell-Free Protein Expression

Rabbit Reticulocyte Lysate (RRL)

  • Mammalian system.
  • Cap independent translation.
Cell-Free Protein Expression

Saccharomyces cerevisiae Extract (SCE)

  • Easily fermentable.
  • Simple and low-cost.
  • A wealth of experimental tools and genetic information.
  • Genetic tools available for synthetic biology.
Cell-Free Protein Expression

Insect Cell Extract (ICE)

  • Possible for the translation of large proteins.
  • No endogenous mammalian proteins.
  • Synthesis of membrane proteins.
  • Certain forms of protein glycosylation are possible.
  • Commercially available.
Cell-Free Protein Expression

Wheat Germ Extract (WGE)

  • High-batch yields.
  • Synthesis of many types of eukaryotic proteins, including large proteins and membrane proteins.
  • Efficient protein folding is possible.
  • Robust, highly efficient and controllable approach.
Cell-Free Protein Expression

Tobacco BY-2 Cell Extract (BYE)

  • Extract preparation is greatly simplified.
  • Possible to synthesize proteins from diverse organisms.
Cell-Free Protein Expression

CHO, K562, and HeLa Extracts

  • Human systems.
  • Synthesis of functional proteins and membrane proteins.
  • Possible to make virus-like particles (VPLs).
  • Certain forms of protein glycosylation are possible.
Cell-Free Protein Expression

Leishmania tarentolae Extract (LTE)

  • Suitable for the expression of parasitic proteins.
  • Background translation is mostly repressed.

CD Biosynsis provides a variety of cutting-edge techniques for cell-free protein expression. Since there is no standard approach for the expression of each different protein, our scientists can use their experience and expertise in protein expression to provide the best tailor-made services for specific needs.

If you are interested in our services or have any specific needs, please feel free to contact us for more details.


  1. Tinafar A, et al. Synthetic Biology Goes Cell-Free. BMC biology, 2019, 17(1): 64.
  2. Perez J G, et al.  Cell-free synthetic biology: engineering beyond the cell. Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology, 2016, 8(12): a023853.

Please note that all services are for research use only. Not intended for any clinical use.

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