Transcription and Translation In Vitro


In vitro transcription–translation provides the means to synthesize proteins rapidly from a DNA template sequence. Using polymerase chain reaction, DNA templates can be generated rapidly from any coding sequence and protein produced without the use of time‐consuming protein expression systems using living cells.

Keywords: rabbit reticulocyte lysate; T7 polymerase; T7 promoter; protein truncation test

Figure 1.

The different types of templates that can be used for in vitro transcription–translation.



Kozak M (1994) Features in the 5′ non‐coding sequences of rabbit alpha and beta‐globin mRNAs that affect translational efficiency. Journal of Molecular Biology 235: 95–110.

Pelham HRB and Jackson RJ (1976) An efficient mRNA‐dependent translation system from reticulocyte lysates. European Journal of Biochemistry 67: 247–256.

Roest PA, Roberts RG, van der Tuijn AC et al. (1993) Protein truncation test (PTT) to rapidly screen the DMD gene for translation terminating mutations. Neuromuscular Disorders 3: 391–394.

Further Reading

Tymms MJ (ed.) (1995) In Vitro Transcription and Translation Protocols. Totowa, New Jersey: Humana Press.

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Tymms, Martin J(Apr 2001) Transcription and Translation In Vitro. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0002691]