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Cell-free Translation Systems

Nucleic Acids

  1. Takuya Ueda,
  2. Akio Inoue,
  3. Yoshihiro Shimizu

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.200300088

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Ueda, T., Inoue, A. and Shimizu, Y. 2006. Cell-free Translation Systems. Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .

Author Information

  1. The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Japan

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


A disrupted cell is capable of synthesizing protein from amino acids depending upon the template RNA. This discovery, half a century ago, set the stage for biochemical studies on the gene expression process occurring in cells. The cell-free translation system successfully revealed the function of a number of key molecules participating in the translation system, such as ribosome, mRNA, tRNA, and protein factors and, moreover, elucidated the very complicated mechanism of protein synthesis. Although still frequently utilized in these experimental studies, cell-free translation is beginning to make a mark as an attractive tool for protein production as a potential alternative to an in vivo expression system. Moreover, the cell-free translation system is prospective as a method for the synthesis of protein with unnatural amino acids and for the selection of genotypes from peptide libraries.


  • Genetic Code: Relationship between Codons and Amino Acids;
  • Suppressor tRNA;
  • Unnatural Amino Acid;
  • In vitro Virus;
  • Ribosome Display