The sup-5 III and sup-7 X suppressors in C. elegans have previously been shown to have many genetic properties in common with tRNA nonsense suppressors of microorganisms. We report here the results of two lines of investigation into the molecular basis of these suppressors. In one, which sought to determine the nature of suppressible alleles, we demonstrate through DNA sequencing studies that a suppressible allele, unc-54(e 1300) I, of the myosin heavy chain gene contains a C leads to T substitution, which changes a glutamine codon to amber terminator at residue 1903. In the other approach, which sought to define the nature of the suppressing activity, we show through in vitro translation studies that tRNA fractions from the suppressor strains, but not wild-type, promote the specific readthrough of amber terminators of three different messenger RNAs. We conclude that sup-5 and sup-7 result in readthrough of amber terminators in vivo through an altered tRNA.