In vitro E.coli Expression System


In vitro E.coli Expression System

The cell-free protein expression system is also known as the in vitro translation system. The cell-free protein synthesis system uses the target mRNA or DNA as the template, adds the substrate and energy required for the protein synthesis to the enzyme system from the cell extract, and synthesize the target protein in vitro. The cell-free protein expression system simulates in vivo cells and reproduces the intracellular protein transcription and translation process. It needs the existence of various materials required for protein synthesis, including energy, transcription factors, and translation factors, etc.

The system is particularly suitable for the expression of transmembrane proteins and toxic proteins. Its feature includes short cycle and high-throughput.

Even though the system has more than 10 years of history, it still has some technical difficulties. Currently in the global base, cell-free protein expression is mainly provided through Rothe, Promega and other companies using kit expression, which has only very limited conditions and be very expensive. Our company is the first company to master the full set of core technology of E.coli cell-free expression system in domestic market, all core components are produced in house, and the reaction system contains more than 40 ingredients, which are easy to be adjusted and optimized. Since the establishment of this platform in 2015, 162 proteins have been successfully produced with yield of mg/ml, which contains 99 transmembrane proteins with 1-12 transmembrane domains and toxic proteins that are difficult to express in traditional E.coli expression systems. We have also produced high molecular weight proteins (130 kDa -140 kDa) that contain multiple transmembrane domains.


Compared with the traditional intracellular protein expression system, the cell-free system has the following significant advantages:

  • High yield, some protein can reach as high as 5 mg/ml. Currently, most of membrane protein data are obtained from the E. coli cell-free expression system
  • No restrictions on cell structure, it can express exogenous proteins that are toxic to the host cells
  • High-throughput, it allows expression of several different proteins simultaneously on the multi-well plate under a variety of different conditions. It is suitable for high-throughput proteomics research
  • The open reaction system makes the reaction conditions easy to change, which is helpful to regulate gene transcription, protein synthesis and post-translational modification
  • Allow addition of non-natural amino acids or isotope-labeled amino acids to synthesize proteins for special use
  • Less steps, simple experimental process, low dependence on equipment
  • Price as low as $825/1mg, delivery time as short as 25 business days


Risk-free: We do NOT charge if we cannot deliver the protein.

Note: This risk-free custom protein service is only suitable for proteins within 800aa. We will charge according to different steps if you need to express proteins more than 800aa.

Service Process:

Steps Project Process Cusabio Features Lead Time
1 Plasmid construction and preparation Plasmid construction and preparation Codon optimization, gene synthesis Multi-vector optimization
In order to improve the efficiency of mRNA translation, thereby increasing protein yield, we provide protein expression service using N-terminal peptide optimization in addition to conventional N-terminal fusion protein. The N-terminal peptide contains 6-11 amino acids, it’s the shortest additional amino acid sequence that we have designed.
15-20 business days
The PCR amplification products are ligated to the pET vectors by restriction enzyme digestion
Recombinant plasmids are prepared in large quantities
2 Small-scale expression and optimization Small-scale expression and optimization Multi-condition optimization;
SDS-PAGE electrophoresis;
Determine the optimal reaction condition
Multi-condition expression scheme
In cell-free expression system, we can express several different proteins simultaneously on the multi-well plate under a variety of different conditions. Thus we offer multi-condition optimization service.
7-10 business days
(Additional 3 business days for multi-condition purification)
3 Target protein expression and purificationTarget protein expression and purification Prepare 1-10ml large-scale expression based on the small-scale results
The target protein is purified by exploring different chromatographic conditions including ion exchange chromatography, size exclusion chromatography and others by using AKTA, and then determine the optimal purification method. Multi-condition purification scheme (optional)
For transmembrane proteins, we provide different detergent purification services to determine the optimum buffer for your transmembrane protein. This purification scheme is most suitable for transmembrane proteins with bioactivity.
4 Additional services (optional)Additional protein services Charge Tag-removal service Flexible additional services
Customers can flexibly choose from a variety of additional services to their specific needs, e.g. Endotoxin removal, Filter-sterilization, Tag removal, Lyophilization, etc. Some are complimentary, and some require additional charge.
3 business days
Free Endotoxin removal, Filter-sterilization, Lyophilization (Note: Lyophilization and filter-sterilization can not be met at the same time) 2 business days
5 Quality ControlProtein Quality Control Testing of purity, concentration, etc. QC report is provided. Detailed COA report
Detailed product data sheet and COA are provided for each project.
3-5 business days
Total lead time 25-35 business days

Case 1
The following three items are proteins with 5, 6 and 7 transmembrane domains separately. Since the in vivo expression system is difficult to express multiple transmembrane proteins, or the yield is very low, CUSABIO use cell-free expression system to produce these three proteins. To increase the yield, we explored a variety of expression conditions for the customer. Figure 1, 2, and 3 have shown the small scale expression of these three proteins under different conditions, and we selected the optimal condition for the large-scale expression.

In vitro E.coli Expression System case 01-2
  • Lane 1: Reaction Condition1
  • Lane 2: Reaction Condition 2
  • Lane 3: Reaction Condition 3
  • Lane 4: Reaction Condition 4
  • Lane 5: Reaction Condition 5
  • Lane 6: Reaction Condition 6
In vitro E.coli Expression System case 01-1
  • Lane 1: Reaction Condition1
  • Lane 2: Reaction Condition 2
  • Lane 3: Reaction Condition 3
  • Lane 4: Reaction Condition 4
  • Lane 5: Reaction Condition 5
  • Lane 6: Reaction Condition 6
In vitro E.coli Expression System case 01-3
  • Lane 1: Reaction Condition1
  • Lane 2: Reaction Condition 2
  • Lane 3: Reaction Condition 3
  • Lane 4: Reaction Condition 4
  • Lane 5: Reaction Condition 5
  • Lane 6: Reaction Condition 6

Case 2
The project was a 9 transmembrane protein. The difficulty of this project was not only the large number of transmembrane domains, but also the high molecular weight (141.7 kDa). After multiple-condition optimization, we successfully produced the protein with high yield, which can be observed on SDS-PAGE.

In vitro E.coli Expression System case 02
  • Lane 1: Reaction Condition1
  • Lane 2: Reaction Condition 2
  • Lane 3: Reaction Condition 3
  • Lane 4: Reaction Condition 4
  • Lane 5: Reaction Condition 5

Case 3
The protein in this project had a very low yield. Through optimization of different N-terminal peptides, the yield was improved dramatically, as shown in Figure 5.

In vitro E.coli Expression System case 03
  • Lane 1: Tag 1
  • Lane 2: pET-28a(+) control
  • Lane 3: Tag 2
  • Lane 4: Tag 3
  • Lane 5: Tag 4
  • Lane 6: Tag 5
  • Lane 7: Tag 6
  • Lane 8: Tag 7

Case 4
HTR1B is a membrane protein of the GPCR family. It contains 7 transmembrane domains. We successfully expressed this protein and did the functional activity test, and the result has shown that the protein is bioactive.

In vitro E.coli Expression System case 04

The Binding Activity of HTR1B (7TM) with GSTK1

Activity :

Measured by its binding ability in a functional ELISA. Immobilized HTR1B at 5 μg/ml can bind human GSTK1,the EC50 of human GSTK1 protein is 159.40-218.50 ng/ml.

Characteristic expression systems

pET-23a(+)-JT vector, efficient expression in vitro

pET-23a(+)-JT vector
  • Vector characteristics:
  • 1.

    Carrys T7 strong promoter, does not contain lac operon, no negative repressive effect, can express protein efficiently;

  • 2.

    Compared with conventional 6xHis tag, the N-terminal 10xHis tag has a stronger binding ability in IMAC. The thrombin site makes it easy to remove the tag.

  • 3.

    The C-terminal MYC-tag can be used for WB detection, and it has stronger sensitivity compared with His-tag.

  • 4.

    Amp resistance screening.

CUSABIO Protein Expression Quotation Request Form

I.Your Information

  • Name*

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  • Email*

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  • Country*

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II.Product Information

  • Product Name (including species)*

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  • Uniprot No*

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  • Order Quantity

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  • Expression System

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  • Expression Region

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  • Sequence

    This sequence does not include the Tag sequence. Please fill if you have special demand.

  • Do you need tag ?

    Tag Removal Service

    If customer needs to remove the tag, please remark with tag removal service, otherwise, we won't remove the tag.

    There are extra charges for tag removal service. The cost will be list in the quotation.

    Not all protein tags can be removed as some proteins will be very unstable after tag removal.

    If we fail in removing the tag, we won’t charge for any extra cost, and remark this information in COA as follows “Note: The laboratory determined that the Tag on your protein could not be removed with standard laboratory procedures. Your protein is being supplied with the Tag intact.”

    Generally, the delivery time will be extended for 2-3 days.

    This field is required.

  • Molecular Weight

  • Application*

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III.Customer's Requirement(Click here to show more)

  • Tag Removal Service

  • Endotoxin Level Requirement

  • Aseptic Manufacture Processing

  • Western Blot Service

  • Purity Requirement

  • Concentration Requirement

  • Storage Buffer Requirement

  • Delivery Form Requirement

  • Package Size Requirement

  • Other Requirement

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