Applications of cell-free protein synthesis in synthetic biology: Interfacing bio-machinery with synthetic environments

Authors

  • Kyung-Ho Lee,

    1. Department of Fine Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea
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  • Dr. Dong-Myung Kim

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Fine Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea
    • Department of Fine Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 3015764, Republic of Korea

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Abstract

Synthetic biology is built on the synthesis, engineering, and assembly of biological parts. Proteins are the first components considered for the construction of systems with designed biological functions because proteins carry out most of the biological functions and chemical reactions inside cells. Protein synthesis is considered to comprise the most basic levels of the hierarchical structure of synthetic biology. Cell-free protein synthesis has emerged as a powerful technology that can potentially transform the concept of bioprocesses. With the ability to harness the synthetic power of biology without many of the constraints of cell-based systems, cell-free protein synthesis enables the rapid creation of protein molecules from diverse sources of genetic information. Cell-free protein synthesis is virtually free from the intrinsic constraints of cell-based methods and offers greater flexibility in system design and manipulability of biological synthetic machinery. Among its potential applications, cell-free protein synthesis can be combined with various man-made devices for rapid functional analysis of genomic sequences. This review covers recent efforts to integrate cell-free protein synthesis with various reaction devices and analytical platforms.

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