Enhanced Yield of Recombinant Proteins with Site-Specifically Incorporated Unnatural Amino Acids Using a Cell-Free Expression System Academic Article uri icon


  • Using a commercial protein expression system, we sought the crucial elements and conditions for the expression of proteins with genetically encoded unnatural amino acids. By identifying the most important translational components, we were able to increase suppression efficiency to 55% and to increase mutant protein yields to levels higher than achieved with wild type expression (120%), reaching over 500 µg/mL of translated protein (comprising 25 µg in 50 µL of reaction mixture). To our knowledge, these results are the highest obtained for both in vivo and in vitro systems. We also demonstrated that efficiency of nonsense suppression depends greatly on the nucleotide following the stop codon. Insights gained in this thorough analysis could prove useful for augmenting in vivo expression levels as well.

publication date

  • January 1, 2013