Definition of deleterious mutation

deleterious mutation

(DEH-leh-TEER-ee-us myoo-TAY-shun)
A change in the DNA sequence of a gene that causes a person to have or be at risk of developing a certain genetic disorder or disease, such as cancer. Deleterious mutations can be inherited from a parent or occur during a person’s lifetime. Knowing if a person has a deleterious mutation may help prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases, such as cancer. Not everyone who has a deleterious mutation will develop the disease. Also called disease-causing mutation, pathogenic variant, predisposing mutation, and susceptibility gene mutation.

Source: NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms