Difference between Frameshift Mutation and Point Mutation

There are two main ways for gene mutation to occur, these are the Frameshift mutation and Point mutation. In order to understand the difference between the two, we need to first look at what a mutation is. A mutation is basically the alteration in the genetic material of anything. Now these genetic changes can take place in a number of different ways and magnitudes. Gene mutations occur, when there is a change in the nucleotide sequence of a gene. Frameshift and Point mutations are two of these alterations which occur. However, both of them are different from each outer.

In a Frameshift mutation, the frame of the DNA strand is shifted in one way or the other, whereas in Point mutation, the frame of the DNA strand does not move and remains in its original position. The structure of the gene and the number of nucleotides that are present are changed in Frameshift mutations, on the other hand, Point mutations cause only the structure of the gene to change. There are only two types of Frameshift mutations which can occur, however there are a number of variable Point mutations which can take place.


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    Frameshift Mutation

    Frameshift mutations are a genetic mutation, which are caused by the indels of a number of nucleotides in a DNA sequence, which is not divisible by three. With genes being triplet in nature, the insertion or deletion of gene expressions can change the reading frame, resulting in a completely different translation from the original one. The level of mutation and alteration in the protein depends on how early in the sequence the deletion and insertion takes place. In most cases, the polypeptide which is created in the end is either abnormally long or short, which renders it to be non-functional in the end.

    - Image Courtesy: topnews.net.nz

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    Point Mutation

    Point mutation is a change that takes place in a particular gene in a very particular place. It is an exchange of the nucleotides which takes place. It usually leads to Adenine being replaced by Thymine, or vice versa. Guanine can also end up being replaced by Cytosine, or the other way round. These exchanges which lead to mutations are what differentiate point mutations from other form of mutations which take place in the nucleotide sequence of a gene.

    - Image Courtesy: worldcrunch.com

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