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IRES-mediated translation of membrane proteins and glycoproteins in eukaryotic cell-free systems

: Brödel, A.K.; Sonnabend, A.; Roberts, L.O.; Stech, M.; Wüstenhagen, D.A.; Kubick, S.

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PLoS one. Online journal 8 (2013), No.12, Art. e82234, 11 pp.
ISSN: 1932-6203
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IBMT ()

Internal ribosome entry site (IRES) elements found in the 5 untranslated region of mRNAs enable translation initiation in a cap-independent manner, thereby representing an alternative to cap-dependent translation in cell-free protein expression systems. However, IRES function is largely species-dependent so their utility in cell-free systems from different species is rather limited. A promising approach to overcome these limitations would be the use of IRESs that are able to recruit components of the translation initiation apparatus from diverse origins. Here, we present a solution to this technical problem and describe the ability of a number of viral IRESs to direct efficient protein expression in different eukaryotic cellfree expression systems. The IRES from the intergenic region (IGR) of the Cricket paralysis virus (CrPV) genome was shown to function efficiently in four different cell-free systems based on lysates derived from cultured Sf21, CHO and K562 cells as w ell as wheat germ. Our results suggest that the CrPV IGR IRES-based expression vector is universally applicable for a broad range of eukaryotic cell lysates. Sf21, CHO and K562 cell-free expression systems are particularly promising platforms for the production of glycoproteins and membrane proteins since they contain endogenous microsomes that facilitate the incorporation of membrane-spanning proteins and the formation of post-translational modifications. We demonstrate the use of the CrPV IGR IRES-based expression vector for the enhanced synthesis of various target proteins including the glycoprotein erythropoietin and the membrane proteins heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor receptor as well as epidermal growth factor receptor in the above mentioned eukaryotic cell-free systems. CrPV IGR IRES-mediated translation will facilitate the development of novel eukaryotic cell-free expression platforms as well as the high-yield synthesis of desired proteins in already established systems.