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Magic™ Cell-free Protein Expression in Wheat Germ

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Creative Biolabs is an international leading service provider regarding cell-free membrane protein expression area. We have developed a serial of cell-free expression systems for high-quality, large/medium-scale membrane protein expression. Equipped with unparalleled technique platform and extensive expertise, our one-stop integrated services can help our worldwide clients to boost their diverse research and projects.

In recent years, there emerged many different kinds of cell-free systems, including prokaryotic, eukaryotic, and totally artificial PURE system. Among all these systems, the wheat germ cell-free expression system combines the advantages of cell-free and eukaryotic systems and is quite suitable for expression of integral membrane proteins. Many GPCRs, ion channels, and transporters that failed in cell-based expression have been successfully obtained using wheat germ. This system has been manipulated as a rescue pathway for human proteins which are not soluble in both E. coli systems. A recent analysis revealed that 95-97% target proteins expressed in a soluble manner using the wheat germ cell-free system, while the soluble ratio was only 40% when the same set of proteins were expressed using E. coli. Therefore, this featured system holds great promise for protein expression of challenging targets.

Schematic of wheat germ system-based membrane protein production. (FEBS Lett, 2014) Figure 1. Schematic of wheat germ system-based membrane protein production. (FEBS Lett, 2014)

When in a dried state, wheat embryos store all the translation-related components that are ready for protein synthesis once germination starts. Untreated wheat germ extracts contain inhibitors of translation such as ribonucleases, thionin, and proteases. We employ extensive and thorough washing/filtration process to eliminate these inhibitors and other large molecular contaminants to ensure high degree of activity and stability. This system has several significant advantages compared with other commonly used cell-free protein expression systems.

Creative Biolabs offer customized membrane proteins expression service based on our leading cell-free expression systems. In addition to wheat germ, we are also specialized in utilizing many other cell-free systems for protein synthesis, including:

We are always pleased to offer the best service and products to satisfy each demand from our global clients, based on our extensive experience and impeccable platform. It’s our promise to always provide customers best-in-class service at most competitive price. To discuss your plans for membrane protein expression or to put an inquiry, please feel free to contact us.


  1. Guild K, Zhang Y, Stacy R, et al. (2011) Wheat germ cell-free expression system as a pathway to improve protein yield and solubility for the SSGCID pipeline. Acta Crystallographica Section F: Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications, 67(9), 1027-1031.
  2. Harbers M (2014) Wheat germ systems for cell‐free protein expression. FEBS letters, 588(17), 2762-2773.
  3. Alkhalfioui F, Logez C, Bornert O, Wagner R (2011) Production of Membrane Proteins - Strategies for Expression and Isolation (Robinson AS, ed), Wiley-VCH: 1.

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