Abstract: A large number of human diseases are caused by nonsense mutations. These mutations result in premature protein termination and the expression of truncated, usually nonfunctional products. A promising therapeutic strategy for patients suffering from premature termination codon (PTC)-mediated disorders is to suppress the nonsense mutation and restore the expression of the affected protein. Such a suppression approach using specific antibiotics and other read-through promoting agents has been shown to suppress PTCs and restore the production of several important proteins. Here, we report the establishment of a novel, rapid, and very efficient method for screening stop-codon read-through agents. We also show that, in both mammalian cells and in a transgenic mouse model, distinct members of the macrolide antibiotic family can induce read-through of disease-causing stop codons leading to re-expression of several key proteins and to reduced disease phenotypes. Taken together, our results may help in the identification and characterization of well-needed customized pharmaceutical PTC suppression agents. Key messages: Establishment of a flow cytometry-based reporter assay to identify nonsense mutation read-through agents.Macrolide antibiotics can induce read-through of disease-causing stop codons.Macrolide-induced protein restoration can alleviate disease-like phenotypes.
- Aminoglycoside and macrolide antibiotics
- Genetic diseases
- Nonsense mutations
- Premature termination codons (PTCs)
- Ribosomal read-through