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translational stop codon. This results in the premature termination of translation and the production of a truncated protein product. Small deletions and insertions can usually be classified as frameshift mutations because the deletion or insertion of a single nucleotide (for instance) alters the reading frame of the gene on the 3' side of the affected site. This results in the synthesis of a polypeptide product that might bear no resemblance to the normal gene product (Table 3). In addition, small insertions or deletions can result in the premature termination of translation resulting from the presence of a stop codon in the new reading frame of the mutated gene. Deletions or insertions that occur involving multiples of three nucleotides will not result in a frameshift mutation, but will alter the resulting polypeptide gene product, which will exhibit either loss of specific amino acids or the presence of additional amino acids within its primary structure. These types of alteration can also lead to a loss of protein function.

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