Abstract This report describes the enhancing effect of magnesium ion on the synthesis of read-through protein of bacteriophage Qβ in a cell-free protein synthesizing system from E. coli . At 6 mM of magnesium acetate, the major product was coat protein. At 12 mM of magnesium, it was replaced by read-through protein. This enhanced synthesis was substituted by the addition of 0.25 mM of spermine or 1 mM of spermidine to 6 mM of magnesium. These results suggest that magnesium or combination of magnesium and polyamines causes leaky termination at the end of the coat protein cistron of Qβ-RNA.