Cell-free synthesis of cytochrome c oxidase, a multicomponent membrane protein

Yukie Katayama, Kunitoshi Shimokata, Makoto Suematsu, Takashi Ogura, Tomitake Tsukihara, Shinya Yoshikawa, Hideo Shimada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Cell-free protein synthesis is a useful technique that can site-specifically incorporate isotope-labeled amino acids into proteins. This incorporation is essential for infrared analyses of the electronic state of a specific amino acid residue used to elucidate protein function. Although 17 membrane proteins have been synthesized in their active state by cell-free systems, to date no hetero-subunit protein has been synthesized with this technique, suggesting that there are serious technical limitations. Here we report the cell-free synthesis of Paracoccus denitrificans cytochrome c oxidase, a membrane protein complex composed of three distinct subunits that contain two heme A molecules and two redox-active copper centers. The synthesized protein exhibited normal Soret/vis absorption spectra and ferrocytochrome c oxidation activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-240
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jun


  • E. coli cell-free system
  • Heme A
  • Paracoccus denitrificans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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