Insertion Mutation: Diseases & Examples

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Clostridium Ramosum: Symptoms & Treatment

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 What Are Mutations?
  • 0:26 What Are Insertion Mutations?
  • 2:29 Diseases Caused by…
  • 3:47 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Angela Lynn Swafford

Lynn has a BS and MS in biology and has taught many college biology courses.

Insertion mutations occur when extra genetic material is added to a DNA sequence. Learn about insertion mutations and some of the diseases they can cause in this lesson.

What Are Mutations?

Any permanent change in a DNA sequence is called a mutation. DNA is found in all organisms and is the unit of heredity. This means that mutations can sometimes be passed on to offspring. Mutations can be beneficial, neutral (have no effect), or detrimental. While there are many different kinds of mutations, we will focus on just one type called an insertion mutation.

What Are Insertion Mutations?

Insertion mutations occur when extra nucleotides are put into a DNA sequence, making it longer than it should be. So, what are nucleotides? They are the repeating units of a DNA sequence. There are four nucleotides, and each has a different nitrogenous base:

  1. Thymine (T)
  2. Adenine (A)
  3. Guanine (G)
  4. Cytosine (C)

We write DNA sequences using strings of these four bases. Let's say a DNA sequence reads CAGC. If a T was accidentally inserted between the G and C when this sequence was being copied, it would now read CAGTC. An insertion mutation has occurred. If this mutation was in a gene, or the part of a DNA sequence that codes for a protein, it could be detrimental and result in the production of a nonfunctional protein.

Insertion mutations can be small, like in the CAGTC example in which only one nucleotide was inserted, or they can be large, with many nucleotides being added. If the number of bases inserted is not a multiple of three, then the insertion mutation is also considered a frameshift mutation. Frameshift mutations change all of the codons following the location of the DNA change, in this case an insertion. A codon is a 3-base sequence that codes for one amino acid. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and changes in the sequence of amino acids can result in proteins that don't work properly.

Two examples of insertion mutations; one is a frameshift mutation, the other is not.
Insertion Mutation Examples

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Free 5-day trial

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account
Support