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Genome Biol. 2016 Nov 28;17(1):241.

New insights into the generation and role of de novo mutations in health and disease.

Author information

1
Department of Human Genetics, Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Radboud University Medical Center, Geert Grooteplein 10, 6525 GA, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
2
Department of Human Genetics, Donders Institute of Neuroscience, Radboud University Medical Center, Geert Grooteplein 10, 6525 GA, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. joris.veltman@radboudumc.nl.
3
Department of Clinical Genetics, GROW - School for Oncology and Developmental Biology, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Universiteitssingel 50, 6229 ER, Maastricht, The Netherlands. joris.veltman@radboudumc.nl.
4
Department of Human Genetics, Donders Institute of Neuroscience, Radboud University Medical Center, Geert Grooteplein 10, 6525 GA, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Aside from inheriting half of the genome of each of our parents, we are born with a small number of novel mutations that occurred during gametogenesis and postzygotically. Recent genome and exome sequencing studies of parent-offspring trios have provided the first insights into the number and distribution of these de novo mutations in health and disease, pointing to risk factors that increase their number in the offspring. De novo mutations have been shown to be a major cause of severe early-onset genetic disorders such as intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, and other developmental diseases. In fact, the occurrence of novel mutations in each generation explains why these reproductively lethal disorders continue to occur in our population. Recent studies have also shown that de novo mutations are predominantly of paternal origin and that their number increases with advanced paternal age. Here, we review the recent literature on de novo mutations, covering their detection, biological characterization, and medical impact.

PMID:
27894357
PMCID:
PMC5125044
DOI:
10.1186/s13059-016-1110-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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