Magic™ Cell-free Protein Expression in Wheat Germ

Creative Biolabs now provides the most advanced wheat germ cell-free system for membrane protein expression. We have developed a serial of cell-free expression systems for high-quality, large/medium-scale membrane protein expression. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology platforms and extensive expertise, our one-stop integrated services can help our worldwide clients to boost their diverse research and projects.

What is wheat germ cell-free system?

In recent years, there emerged many different kinds of cell-free systems, including:

Among all these options, 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.

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. So extensive and thorough washing/filtration process must be employed to eliminate these inhibitors and other large molecular contaminants to ensure a high degree of activity and stability. This optimized system has several significant advantages compared with other commonly used cell-free protein expression systems.

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

Which kind of membrane protein can be produced in the wheat germ cell-free system?

Many proteins 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 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 including:


G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) is a large family of seven transmembrane domain receptors. They mediate a great deal of cellular response to extracellular signals including small molecules, peptides, and proteins. GPCR superfamily is the main target for drug development since signal transduction by GPCRs is necessary for many physiological processes, ranging from smell and taste to neurological, cardiovascular, and reproductive functions.

Ion channels

Ion channels are a “tunnel-like” structure normally composed of several identical or homogenous subunits. They are present in the membranes of all cells that allow ions to travel into or out of a cell.


Transporter (or a membrane transport protein) is a class of membrane protein involved in the movement molecules through the membrane. The proteins generally assist in the movement of substances by facilitated diffusion or active transport.

Magic™ Cell-free Protein Expression in Wheat Germ

Our featured service

Our unique wheat germ system can produce most proteins regardless of category and localization. We have expressed hundreds of proteins that couldn’t be generated before. Our system has multiple unparalleled advantages:

Creative Biolabs offer customized membrane proteins expression service based on our leading cell-free expression systems. We are always pleased to offer the best service and products to satisfy each demand from our global clients. It’s our promise to provide customers best-in-class service under competitive price. To discuss your plans for membrane protein expression, please feel free to inquire us for more details.


  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.

All listed services and products are For Research Use Only. Do Not use in any diagnostic or therapeutic applications.

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