[Mutation mechanisms and their consequences]

Med Sci (Paris). 2005 Nov;21(11):969-80. doi: 10.1051/medsci/20052111969.
[Article in French]


The identification of mutations leading to human genetic diseases has grown into an intensive research field during the last few years. Through novel DNA analysis progress, it is now possible to determine the mutational spectrum for a given genetic disease and international databases are now available online. Genetic diagnosis of hereditary diseases has become an essential tool in genetic counselling and prenatal diagnosis. The knowledge of the deleterious mutation type and the molecular associated mechanism is fundamental in order to devise the optimal molecular diagnosis strategy. This review aims to present the various mutation categories involved in genetic diseases (single base-pair substitutions, small deletions or insertions, dynamic mutations, gross DNA lesions...) and to summarize our current knowledge about the main molecular mechanisms responsible for these mutations. Their deleterious consequences on gene expression, including transcription and transcript maturation, and protein loss or gain of function are also discussed in this review.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Inversion
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / genetics
  • Humans
  • Mosaicism
  • Mutagenesis*
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Mutation
  • Peptides / genetics
  • Point Mutation
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • Proteins / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Sequence Deletion
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Translocation, Genetic


  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Peptides
  • Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • polyalanine