NCI Dictionary of Genetics Terms

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Welcome to the NCI Dictionary of Genetics Terms, which contains technical definitions for more than 150 terms related to genetics. These definitions were developed by the PDQ® Cancer Genetics Editorial Board to support the evidence-based, peer-reviewed PDQ cancer genetics information summaries.

microsatellite
(MY-kroh-SA-teh-lite)
Repetitive segments of DNA scattered throughout the genome in noncoding regions between genes or within genes (introns). They are often used as markers for linkage analysis because of their naturally occurring high variability in repeat number between individuals. These regions are inherently genetically unstable and susceptible to mutations.