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.

frameshift mutation
(FRAYM-shift myoo-TAY-shun)
An insertion or deletion involving a number of base pairs that is not a multiple of three, which consequently disrupts the triplet reading frame of a DNA sequence. Such mutations usually lead to the creation of a premature termination (stop) codon, and result in a truncated (shorter-than-normal) protein product.