Transfer RNA (tRNA) suppression of nonsense mutations in prokaryotic systems has been widely used to study the structure and function of different prokaryotic genes. Through genetic engineering techniques, it is now possible to introduce suppressor (Su+) tRNA molecules into mammalian cells. A quantitative assay of the suppressor tRNA activity in these mammalian cells is described; it is based on the amount of tRNA-mediated readthrough of a terminating codon in the influenza virus NS1 gene after the cells are infected with virus. Suppressor activity in L cells continuously expressing Su+ (tRNAtyr) was 3.5 percent and that in CV-1 cells infected with an SV40- Su+ (tRNAtyr) recombinant was 22.5 percent.

Stay Connected to Science