In molecular biology and genetics, mutations are changes in a genomic sequence: the DNA sequence of a cell’s genomeor the DNA or RNA sequence of a virus. These random sequences can be defined as sudden and spontaneous changes in the cell. Mutations are caused by radiation, viruses, transposons and mutagenic chemicals, as well as errors that occur during meiosis or DNA replication. They can also be induced by the organism itself, by cellular processes such ashypermutation.

** Cystic fibrosis is caused by a mutation in the gene for the protein cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). This protein is required to regulate the components of sweat, digestive juices, and mucus. CFTR regulates the movement of chloride and sodium ions across epithelial membranes, such as the alveolar epithelia located in the lungs. Although most people without CF have two working copies of the CFTR gene, only one is needed to prevent cystic fibrosis due to the disorder’s recessive nature. CF develops when neither gene works normally (as a result of mutation) and therefore has autosomal recessive inheritance.

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