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Fluorescent Proteins & Reporters

Products >  Fluorescent_Proteins_and_Reporters >  Coexpression >  IRES_Bicistronic

Bicistronic IRES Vectors

IRES-containing bicistronic vectors allow the simultaneous expression of two proteins separately but from the same RNA transcript (1, 2).

How Does an IRES Work?

The IRES of the encephalomyocarditis virus (ECMV) permits the translation of two open reading frames from one messenger RNA. Although translation initiation of eukaryotic mRNAs occurs almost exclusively at the 5' cap, the IRES allows ribosomes to bind and initiate translation at a second, internal location. Thus, two proteins are expressed simultaneously from the same bicistronic mRNA transcript.

Clontech's pIRES Vector contains two multiple cloning sites flanking the central IRES for you to clone and express two genes of interest.

pIRES Vectors Containing Antibiotic Selection Markers

The pIRES Selection Vectors pIRESpuro3, pIREShyg3, pIRESneo3, and pIRESbleo3 each contain a multiple cloning site located upstream of the IRES from which a selection marker is expressed. Because your gene of interest and a selection marker are translated from a single RNA, you can be certain that nearly 100% of the colonies that are resistant to puromycin, hygromycin, G418, and bleomycin also express your protein of interest.

All IRES Selection Vectors contain a partially disabled IRES which reduces the efficiency of translation initiation for the selection marker relative to that of the cloned gene, and allows preferential selection of cells expressing high levels of your protein of interest (3).

Bicistronic (IRES) Fluorescent Protein Expression Vectors

Similarly, fluorescent protein-containing IRES vectors allow coexpression of your target protein and a fluorescent protein. Successfully transfected target cells are easily identified by fluorescence microscopy or flow cytometry. The are several options for different fluorescent proteins, which include mCherry, ZsGreen1, and tdTomato (pLVX-IRES Vectors) and AcGFP1, DsRed2, and DsRed-Express (pIRES2 Vectors).

  At-A-Glance   Documents   Images & Data   Resources


  • Translate your gene of interest and an antibiotic resistance marker or fluorescent protein from a single mRNA
  • Quickly identify cells expressing your protein of interest at high levels
  • Bicistronic expression allows faster, better stable clone selection
  • Choice of vectors enables screening via antibiotic selection, fluorescence microscopy, or flow cytometry


  • Rapidly select stable clones that show high-level expression of your target protein
  • Identify transfected cells by antibiotic selection, fluorescence microscopy, or flow cytometry


  1. Jackson, R. J. et al. (1990) Trends Biochem. Sci. 15:477–483.
  2. Jang, S. K. et al. (1988) J. Virol. 62:2636–2643.
  3. Rees, S. et al. (1996) BioTechniques 20:102–110.

Additional Information

Please see the product's Certificate of Analysis for information about storage conditions, product components, and technical specifications. Please see the Kit Components List to determine kit components. Certificates of Analysis and Kit Components Lists are located under the Documents tab.

Cat. # Product Contents Size Price License Units Select
631970 pEF1alpha-IRES Vector 10 ug $541.00  
631971 pEF1alpha-IRES-AcGFP1 Vector 10 ug $555.00 License Statements *
631980 pEF1alpha-IRES-DsRed-Express2 Vector 10 ug $555.00 License Statements *
631976 pEF1alpha-IRES-ZsGreen1 Vector 10 ug $555.00 License Statements *
631605 pIRES Vector 20 ug $426.00  
632540 pIRES2 DsRed-Express2 Vector 20 ug $571.00 License Statements *
632435 pIRES2-AcGFP1 Vector 20 ug $589.00 License Statements *
632420 pIRES2-DsRed2 Vector 20 ug $589.00 License Statements *
631622 pIRESbleo3 Vector 20 ug $426.00  
631620 pIREShyg3 Vector 20 ug $426.00  
631621 pIRESneo3 Vector 20 ug $426.00  
631619 pIRESpuro3 Vector 20 ug $426.00  
631982 pLVX-EF1alpha-IRES-ZsGreen1 Vector 10 ug $676.00 License Statements *
631987 pLVX-EF1alpha-IRES-mCherry Vector 10 ug $676.00 License Statements *
632187 pLVX-IRES-ZsGreen1 Vector 10 ug $676.00 License Statements *
631237 pLVX-IRES-mCherry Vector 20 ug $676.00 License Statements *
631238 pLVX-IRES-tdTomato Vector 20 ug $676.00 License Statements *
632478 plRES2-ZsGreen1 Vector 20 ug $589.00 License Statements *
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