Nonsense-mediated RNA decay (NMD) was originally discovered as a cellular surveillance pathway that safeguards the quality of mRNA transcripts in eukaryotic cells. In its canonical function, NMD prevents translation of mutant mRNAs harboring premature termination codons (PTCs) by targeting them for degradation. However, recent studies have shown that NMD has a much broader role in gene expression by regulating the stability of many normal transcripts. In this review, we discuss the function of NMD in normal physiological processes, its dynamic regulation by developmental and environmental cues, and its association with human disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number26
JournalCell and Bioscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 19 2017


  • Gene expression
  • Human disease
  • Nonsense-mediated decay
  • RNA surveillance


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