cell-free systemmedical dictionary

<cell culture, molecular biology> Any system in which a normal cellular reaction is reconstituted in the absence of cells for example in vitro translation systems that will synthesise protein from mRNA using a lysate of rabbit reticulocytes or wheat germ.

A fractionated cell extract that maintains a biological function. A subcellular fraction isolated by ultracentrifugation or other separation techniques must first be isolated so that a process can be studied free from all of the complex side reactions that occur in a cell. The cell-free system is therefore widely used in cell biology.

(12 Dec 1998)