Re-programming of translation following cell stress allows IRES-mediated translation to predominate

Biol Cell. 2008 Jan;100(1):27-38. doi: 10.1042/BC20070098.


There is now an overwhelming body of evidence to suggest that internal ribosome entry is required to maintain the expression of specific proteins during patho-physiological situations when cap-dependent translation is compromised, for example, following heat shock or during mitosis, hypoxia, differentiation and apoptosis. Translational profiling has been used by several groups to assess the extent to which alternative mechanisms of translation initiation selectively recruit mRNAs to polysomes during cell stress. The data from these studies have shown that under each condition 3-5% of coding mRNAs remain associated with the polysomes. Importantly, the genes identified in each of these studies do not show a significant amount of overlap, suggesting that 10-15% of all mRNAs have the capability for their initiation to occur via alternative mechanism(s).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 5' Untranslated Regions
  • Apoptosis
  • DNA Damage*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Mitosis
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Peptide Chain Initiation, Translational
  • Peptide Initiation Factors / metabolism
  • Poliomyelitis / genetics
  • Polyribosomes / metabolism
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • RNA Caps*
  • RNA, Messenger / chemistry
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Ribosomes / metabolism*


  • 5' Untranslated Regions
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Peptide Initiation Factors
  • RNA Caps
  • RNA, Messenger