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FEBS Lett. 1998 Sep 4;434(3):417-20.

The vascular endothelial growth factor mRNA contains an internal ribosome entry site.

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Hanson Centre for Cancer Research, Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, Adelaide, SA, Australia.


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), an essential regulator of angiogenesis during early development as well as during the growth of solid tumours, bears an unusually large 5' untranslated region (5'-UTR) in the mRNA of over 1000 nucleotides. We found that the VEGF 5'-UTR, despite being GC-rich and containing an upstream short open reading frame, promotes efficient translation of a luciferase reporter. The VEGF 5'-UTR also allowed translation of luciferase from a dicistronic mRNA when placed between the two cistrons, demonstrating that it contains an internal ribosome entry site. Deletion analysis indicated that the IRES resides towards the 3' end of the 5'-UTR.

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