Development of a Pseudomonas putida cell-free protein synthesis platform for rapid screening of gene regulatory elements

He Wang, Jian Li*, Michael C. Jewett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) systems enable the production of protein without the use of living, intact cells. An emerging area of interest is to use CFPS systems to characterize individual elements for genetic programs [e.g. promoters, ribosome binding sites (RBS)]. To enable this research area, robust CFPS systems must be developed from new chassis organisms. One such chassis is the Gram-negative Pseudomonas bacteria, which have been studied extensively for their diverse metabolism with promises in the field of bioremediation and biosynthesis. Here, we report the development and optimization of a high-yielding (198 ± 5.9 μg/ml) batch CFPS system from Pseudomonas putida ATCC 12633. Importantly, both circular and linear DNA templates can be applied directly to the CFPS reaction to program protein synthesis. Therefore, it is possible to prepare hundreds or even thousands of DNA templates without time-consuming cloning work. This opens the possibility to rapidly assess and validate genetic part performance in vitro before performing experiments in cells. To validate the P. putida CFPS system as a platform for prototyping genetic parts, we designed and constructed a library consisting of 15 different RBSs upstream of the reporter protein sfGFP, which covered an order of magnitude range in expression. Looking forward, our P. putida CFPS platform will not only expand the protein synthesis toolkit for synthetic biology but also serve as a platform in expediting the screening and prototyping of gene regulatory elements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberysy003
JournalSynthetic Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 6 2018


  • Pseudomonas putida
  • TX-TL
  • cell-free protein synthesis
  • gene regulatory elements
  • prototyping
  • synthetic biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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