Several hereditary cancer syndromes are associated with nonsense mutations that create premature termination codons (PTC). Therapeutic strategies involving readthrough induction partially restore expression of proteins with normal function from nonsense-mutated genes, and small molecules such as aminoglycosides and PTC124 have exhibited promising results for treating patients with cystic fibrosis and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Transgenic expression of suppressor-tRNAs and depleting translation termination factors are, among others, potential strategies for treating PTC-associated diseases. In this review, the potential of using readthrough strategies as a therapy for cancer syndromes is discussed, and we consider the effect of nonsense-mediated decay and other factors on readthrough efficiency.
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