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Why does frameshift mutation usually cause more defects during protein synthesis than a point mutation?

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A frameshift mutation is a type of mutation involving the insertion or deletion of a nucleotide in which the number of deleted base pairs is not divisible by three.


"Divisible by three" is important because the cell reads a gene in groups of three bases. Each group of three bases corresponds to one of 20 different amino acids used to build a protein. If a mutation disrupts this reading frame, then the entire DNA sequence following the mutation will be read incorrectly.

If a mutation disrupts this reading frame, then the entire DNA sequence following the mutation will be read incorrectly.

Here is an example of one sentence with words of only three letters: The big red pig ate the red rag. Each word will make one amino acid and the words make a sentence that makes sense.

Mutations that replaces one base for another will result in this: The beg red peg ate the red rag. This mutation can be read OK.

But another type might make the sentence totally readable: The big res dpi gat eth ere dra.
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Why does a frameshift mutaion usually cause more defects during protein synthesis than a point mutation?

A point mutation affects the identity of a single amino acid within a protein whereas a frameshift mutation can potentially affect the identity of many amino acids. Protein (MORE)