Unnatural proteins are crucial biomacromolecules and have been widely applied in fundamental science, novel biopolymer materials, enzymes, and therapeutics. Cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) system can serve as a robust platform to synthesize unnatural proteins by highly effective site-specific incorporation of unnatural amino acids (UNAAs), without the limitations of cell membrane permeability and the toxicity of unnatural components. Here, we describe a quick and simple method to synthesize unnatural proteins in CFPS system based on Escherichia coli
crude extract, with unnatural orthogonal aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase and suppressor tRNA evolved from Methanocaldococcus jannaschii
. The superfolder green fluorescent protein (sfGFP) and p
PaF) were used as the model protein and UNAA. The synthesis of unnatural sfGFPs was characterized by microplate spectrophotometer, affinity chromatography, and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). This protocol provides a detailed procedure guiding how to use the powerful CFPS system to synthesize unnatural proteins on demand.
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