A Molecular Rheostat Design that Maintains ATP Levels Needed to Drive Cell-Free Synthetic Biochemistry Systems

UCLA researchers have developed a cell-free approach for production of chemicals. Their method involves combining different metabolic pathways in vitro. They have optimized the method to include a ‘molecular rheostat’ that regulates and recycles ATP, an expensive cofactor utilized in nearly all bio-based chemical production methods. They have utilized the rheostat for production of isobutanol from glucose and obtained a two-fold increase with yields of up to 24 g/L.


UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have developed a system for regulation of cofactors in cell free biochemical production.




  • Can be scaled up for industrial applications
  • Regulates and recycles ATP
  • 91% yield obtained
  • Completely in vitro approach

Potential Applications

  • Production of isobutanol
  • Production of bioplastics
  • Production of biofuels

Contact Information

Name: UCLA Technology Development Group

Email: ncd@tdg.ucla.edu

Phone: 310.794.0558