Definition of Mutation, hereditary
Mutation, hereditary: A heritable change in the DNA of a gene or chromosome in a cell destined to become an egg or a sperm or the zygote (the conceptus) at the single-cell stage. When transmitted to a child, an hereditary mutation is incorporated in every cell of their body.
Hereditary mutations play a key role in genetic diseases. They also play a role in certain types of cancer as, for example, the eye tumor retinoblastoma and Wilms tumor, a childhood malignancy of the kidney.
Hereditary mutations are also called germline mutations.
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012
Back to MedTerms online medical dictionary A-Z List
Need help identifying pills and medications?
- Allergic Skin Disorders
- Bacterial Skin Diseases
- Bites and Infestations
- Diseases of Pigment
- Fungal Skin Diseases
- Medical Anatomy and Illustrations
- Noncancerous, Precancerous & Cancerous Tumors
- Oral Health Conditions
- Papules, Scales, Plaques and Eruptions
- Scalp, Hair and Nails
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
- Vascular, Lymphatic and Systemic Conditions
- Viral Skin Diseases
- Additional Skin Conditions