Role of Nonsense, Frameshift, and Missense Suppressor tRNAs in Mammalian Cells

  • D. Hatfield
  • B. J. Lee
  • D. W. E. Smith
  • S. Oroszlan
Part of the Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology book series (PMSB, volume 11)


Three classes of point mutations occur in nature: (1) missense; (2) nonsense; and (3) frameshift. Aminoacyl-tRNAs, which suppress mutations within each class, have been characterized in microorganisms; excellent reviews covering these studies have been published (Eggertsson and Sö11 1988; Hill 1975; Körner et al. 1978; Murgola 1985, 1989; Sherman 1982; Smith 1979; Steege and Söll 1979). The aminoacyl-tRNAs involved in suppression of point mutations are called missense, nonsense, and frameshift suppressors. Nonsense suppressors are further classified as amber, ochre, and opal when they suppress UAG, UAA, and UGA codons, respectively. Even though our understanding of the occurrence, structure, and function of suppressor tRNAs in mammalian cells is largely just beginning to emerge, it would seem that our interpretation of the role of suppressor tRNAs in mammalian cells may have to be altered from the classical viewpoint. That is, in microorganisms, suppressor tRNAs have largely been thought of as providing a mechanism of correcting or reversing deleterious mutations. It appears that suppressor tRNAs, when they occur in mammalian cells, have specialized functions and are not present in order to reverse the effect of deleterious mutations.


Termination Codon Equine Infectious Anemia Virus Beet Necrotic Yellow Vein Virus Anticodon Loop Nonsense Suppression 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Hatfield
    • 1
  • B. J. Lee
    • 1
  • D. W. E. Smith
    • 2
  • S. Oroszlan
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratory of Experimental Carcinogenesis, National Cancer InstituteNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PathologyNorthwestern University Medical SchoolChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Laboratory of Molecular Virology and Carcinogenesis, Bionetics Research Inc., Basic Research ProgramNational Cancer Institute-Frederick Center Research FacilityFrederickUSA

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