Internal ribosome entry site biology and its use in expression vectors

Curr Opin Biotechnol. 1999 Oct;10(5):458-64. doi: 10.1016/s0958-1669(99)00010-5.


Internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs) are cis-acting elements that recruit the small ribosomal subunits to an internal initiator codon in the mRNA with the help of cellular trans-acting factors. The recent discovery of the IRES recognition site of the eIF4G initiation factor is beginning to shed some light into how IRES elements are recognized by the translational machinery. Additionally, the progress made in the understanding of the parameters that influence start codon selection will be instrumental in establishing the rational design of bicistronic expression vectors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Codon, Initiator
  • Genetic Vectors*
  • Humans
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid*
  • Ribosomes / genetics*
  • Viruses / genetics


  • Codon, Initiator