Aminoglycosides such as gentamicin have the ability to suppress translation termination at premature stop mutations, leading to a partial restoration of protein expression and function. This observation led to studies showing that this approach may provide a viable treatment for patients with genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis that are caused by premature stop mutations. Although aminoglycoside treatment is sometimes associated with harmful side effects, several studies have shown that the co-administration of polyanions such as poly-L-aspartic acid (PAA) can both reduce toxicity and increase the intracellular aminoglycoside concentration. In the current study we examined how the co-administration of gentamicin with PAA influenced the readthrough of premature stop codons in cultured cells and a cystic fibrosis mouse model. Using a dual luciferase readthrough reporter system in cultured cells, we found that the co-administration of gentamicin with PAA increased readthrough 20-40% relative to cells treated with the same concentration of gentamicin alone. Using a Cftr-/- hCFTR-G542X mouse model, we found that PAA also increased the in vivo nonsense suppression induced by gentamicin. Following the withdrawal of gentamicin, PAA significantly prolonged the time interval during which readthrough could be detected, as shown by short circuit current measurements and immunofluorescence. Because the use of gentamicin to suppress disease-causing nonsense mutations will require their long term administration, the ability of PAA to reduce toxicity and increase both the level and duration of readthrough has important implications for this promising therapeutic approach. © 2009 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.