NCI Dictionary of Genetics Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Genetics Terms contains technical definitions for more than 200 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.

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missense mutation
(MIS-sens myoo-TAY-shun)
A genetic alteration in which a single base pair substitution alters the genetic code in a way that produces an amino acid that is different from the usual amino acid at that position. Some missense variants (or mutations) will alter the function of the protein. Also called missense variant.