Assess the significance of ‘coding’ and ‘non-coding’ DNA segments

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Assess the significance of ‘coding’ and ‘non-coding’ DNA segments in the process of mutation (ACSBL078)

Significance of Non-coding DNA segments in the process of mutation:

  • Some non-coding DNA segments have been found to play role in regulating gene activity. Mutations in such segments can hamper this function.
  • Non-coding DNA segments might not directly code for proteins but, they control the action of regulatory proteins (proteins that act on genes and regulate their functions). Thus, any particular change in non-coding DNAs will result a protein to be expressed in the wrong time or place.
  • Mutations in noncoding DNA have been linked to developmental disorders such as isolated Pierre Robin sequence, which is caused by changes in enhancer elements that control the activity of the SOX9 gene.
  • Noncoding DNA mutations have also been associated with several types of cancer.
  • Mutations in non-coding DNA segments can result in disruptions in functions of regulatory elements including promoters, insulators, and silencers. Mutations in regions that provide instructions for making functional RNA molecules, such as transfer RNAs, microRNAs, or long noncoding RNAs, have also been implicated in disease.
  • At times, mutations in non-coding DNA segments can induce various types of mutations in coding regions of DNA, including changes in single DNA building blocks (point mutations), insertions, deletions, duplications, and translocations. Noncoding DNA mutations can be inherited from a parent or acquired during a person’s life.

Significance of Coding DNA segments in the process of mutation:

  • Coding DNA segments play a vital role in the production of protein that control the function of ample number of biological processes in our system. A single change in coding segments will cause a mishap in the processes.
  • Mutations in coding segments are the cause of a number of genetic diseases.
  • Changes in coding segments sometimes result in chromosomal aberrations as well.
  • Mutations in coding segments deviates a protein from functioning normally and can cause structural modifications as well.
  • In some cases, mutations in coding region are harmless.
  • Some mutations play role in increasing adaptability of an organism in changing environmental conditions.

Extract from HSC Biology Stage 6 Syllabus. © 2017 Board of Studies NSW.