Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay: from vacuum cleaner to Swiss army knife

Genome Biol. 2004;5(4):218. doi: 10.1186/gb-2004-5-4-218. Epub 2004 Mar 30.


Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) downmodulates mRNAs that have in-frame premature termination codons and prevents translation of potentially harmful truncated proteins from aberrant mRNAs. Two new approaches have identified physiological NMD substrates, and suggest that NMD functions as a multipurpose tool in the modulation of gene expression.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Codon, Nonsense / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics*
  • Humans
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*


  • Codon, Nonsense
  • RNA, Messenger