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Does a frameshift mutation stuff up an entire chromosome? If not why? There's no reason for it to stop stuffing up everything downstream of it.

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3 Answers

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The chromosome will be mutated from the point where the frameshift occurs. Just think of it as a set of dominos. When I accidentally knock one piece in the middle of a whole row, it will knock down the rest of the dominos down one end. In this case, we miss one base, the whole frame will shift, and it will code for the wrong amino acid from that point onwards.

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It will only alter the allele from that point onwards. It will not affect other alleles of different genes because special sequences instruct for the termination and initiation of transcription. The whole chromosome will not be affected to the best of my knowledge.

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It will definitely mess up that gene and probably some more downstream of it, but it's unlikely to affect the entire chromosome. From the point of the mutation onwards, it will produce a different transcript until it reaches a stop codon at some point, be it within the affected gene or some point downstream - even the next codon. From after that stop codon, the next exon shouldn't be changed as the reading frame will revert back to the correct one after finding the start codon.

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