Project TitleMethods for Ribosome Generation
Track Code2013-067
Short Description

Enhanced method for in vitro ribosome generation with improved ribosome activity and selectivity

#researchtool #method


Northwestern University researchers have improved the integrated synthesis, assembly and translation method (iSAT) for production of active Escherichia coli ribosomes in vitro. Ribosome generation in vitro has expanded the limits of synthetic biology by allowing scientists to produce novel proteins or polymers using the bacterial protein synthesis machinery. iSAT is one of the technologies that was developed to take advantage of cell-free protein production. However, there were several rate-limiting steps in this procedure, which were contributing to the low activity and selectivity of the ribosomes. The Jewett group has methodically optimized the steps involved in iSAT, such that the ribosomes resulting from their protocol are not 300-fold more active, assemble more efficiently and exhibit a higher selectivity than those generated with iSAT. Furthermore, their method is simple and scalable, which will allow this system to be used in a wide range of experiments. Ribosomes generated in this manner will find applications in antibiotic discovery, minimal cells as well as in ribosome engineering efforts. 

Posted DateMar 3, 2015 5:56 PM


Michael Jewett*

Brian Fritz

Yi Liu

Laura Timmerman


  • Research tool for studies of ribosome biogenesis
  • Ribosome engineering
  • Antibiotic discovery in high throughput fashion
  • Compartmentalized ribosome evolution
  • Minimal cells


  • Improved activity (300-fold)
  • Enhanced ribosome assembly in vitro
  • Increased selectivity
  • Simplified and scalable process


IP Status

Provisional US patent application and international patent application have been filed. 

Contact Information

Gwendolyn Humphreys, PhD

Invention Associate

(p) 847.467.0308