What is a frame shift mutation?

1 Answer
Nov 8, 2016

A frame shift mutation is a genetic mutation caused by indel ( insertions and deletions ) of a number of nucleotides in a DNA sequence, that is not divisible by three.


Due to triplet nature of gene expression by codons, the insertion or deletion can change the reading frame. This results in a completely different translation from the original.

A frameshift mutation will in general cause the reading of the codons after the mutation to code for different amino acids. The polypeptide being created could be abnormally short or abnormally long and will most likely not be functional.

Frameshift mutations increase susceptibility to certain cancers and classes of familial hypercholesterolaemia.

There are several biological processes that help to prevent frameshift mutations e.g. reverse mutations, use of suppressor mutations and guide RNA.