Cell-free expression and labeling strategies for a new decade in solid-state NMR

N Biotechnol. 2011 Apr 30;28(3):272-6. doi: 10.1016/j.nbt.2010.07.014. Epub 2010 Aug 4.


Although solid-state NMR and cell-free expression have recently become standard methods in biology, the combination of the two is still at a very early stage of development. In this article, we will explore several approaches by which cell-free expression could help solid-state NMR in its quest for biomolecular structure and mechanism elucidation. Far from being just another structure determination technique, this quest is motivated by the unique possibility of using solid-state NMR to determine the high resolution structure of a membrane protein within its native environment, the lipid membrane. We will examine the specific sample preparation requirements that such a goal imposes and how cell-free expression can play a key role in such a protocol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell-Free System*
  • Lipid Bilayers / chemistry
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular / methods*
  • Protein Structure, Secondary*


  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Membrane Proteins