A nonsense mutation is the substitution of a single base pair that leads to the appearance of a stop codon where previously there was a codon specifying an amino acid. The presence of this premature stop codon results in the production of a shortened, and likely nonfunctional, protein.


A nonsense mutation, or its synonym, a stop mutation, is a change in DNA that causes a protein to terminate or end its translation earlier than expected. This is a common form of mutation in humans and in other animals that causes a shortened or nonfunctional protein to be expressed.

- Leslie G. Biesecker, M.D.