Inhibition of nonsense-mediated mRNA decay rescues the phenotype in Ullrich's disease

Ann Neurol. 2004 May;55(5):740-4. doi: 10.1002/ana.20107.


Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is an mRNA surveillance system that eliminates aberrant mRNAs containing premature translation termination codons (PTCs). We evaluated the role of NMD in of Ullrich's disease. The patient has a frameshift mutation with a PTC in the collagen VI alpha2 gene causing the loss of collagen VI and functional defects in extracellular matrix (ECM). The pharmacological block of NMD caused upregulation of the mutant collagen VI alpha2 subunit, resulting in collagen VI assembly and partially functional ECM formation. Our results suggest that NMD inhibitors can be used as a therapeutic tool to rescue some human genetic diseases exacerbated by NMD.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Androstadienes / pharmacology
  • Caffeine / pharmacology
  • Codon, Nonsense / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Codon, Nonsense / physiology
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Fibroblasts / pathology
  • Frameshift Mutation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscular Dystrophies / genetics*
  • Muscular Dystrophies / pathology
  • Phenotype*
  • RNA Stability / drug effects
  • RNA Stability / genetics*
  • Wortmannin


  • Androstadienes
  • Codon, Nonsense
  • Caffeine
  • Wortmannin