In the biopharmaceutical pipeline, protein expression systems are of high importance not only for the production of biotherapeutics but also for the discovery of novel drugs. The vast majority of drug targets are proteins, which need to be characterized and validated prior to the screening of potential hit components and molecules. A broad range of protein expression systems is currently available, mostly based on cellular organisms of prokaryotic and eukaryotic origin. Prokaryotic cell-free systems are often the system of choice for drug target protein production due to the simple generation of expression hosts and low cost of preparation. Limitations in the production of complex mammalian proteins appear due to inefficient protein folding and posttranslational modifications. Alternative protein production systems, so-called eukaryotic cell-free protein synthesis systems based on eukaryotic cell-lysates, close the gap between a fast protein generation system and a high quality of complex mammalian proteins. In this study, we show the production of druggable target proteins in eukaryotic cell-free systems. Functional characterization studies demonstrate the bioactivity of the proteins and underline the potential for eukaryotic cell-free systems to significantly improve drug development pipelines.
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