The production of soluble, functional recombinant proteins by engineered bacterial hosts is challenging. Natural molecular chaperone systems have been used to solubilize various recombinant proteins with limited success. Here, we attempted to facilitate chaperone-mediated folding by directing the molecular chaperones to their protein substrates before the co-translational folding process completed. To achieve this, we either anchored the bacterial chaperone DnaJ to the 3' untranslated region of a target mRNA by fusing with an RNA-binding domain in the chaperone-recruiting mRNA scaffold (CRAS) system, or coupled the expression of DnaJ and a target recombinant protein using the overlapping stop-start codons 5'-TAATG-3' between the two genes in a chaperone-substrate co-localized expression (CLEX) system. By engineering the untranslated and intergenic sequences of the mRNA transcript, bacterial molecular chaperones are spatially constrained to the location of protein translation, expressing selected aggregation-prone proteins in their functionally active, soluble form. Our mRNA engineering methods surpassed the in-vivo solubilization efficiency of the simple DnaJ chaperone co-overexpression method, thus providing more effective tools for producing soluble therapeutic proteins and enzymes.